Take Your Pet to Work Week kicks off the week of June 18-22 with Take Your Cat to Work Day on Monday the 18th and closes out with the original celebration of Take Your Dog to Work Day on Friday June 22nd.
This fun pet holiday was started in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, originally as Take Your Dog to Work Day and recently expanded to include cats and other pets. The original mission remains a day to celebrate what great companions our pets are and to promote adoptions.
A recent study sponsored by Banfield Hospital (a division of Mars Petcare) demonstrated the positive affect dogs in the office can bring to stress levels, morale and even overall productivity.
They interviewed over 1,000 employees regarding their perceptions of pet-friendly workplaces and identified these improvements resulting from a pet-friendly work environment:
- employee morale (93 percent)
- reduced stress among employees (93 percent)
- work-life balance (91 percent)
- greater loyalty to the company (91 percent)
- reduced guilt among pet owners about leaving their pets at home (91 percent)
While bringing your dog to work does have some great benefits, there needs to be an awareness that not everyone might be thrilled to see Rocco snoozing under your desk. Some people are fearful of dogs, they may have allergies or other aversions, so it’s wise to have some rules in place for the workplace:
- Only consider bringing in your pet if they are well-socialized and well-behaved.
- Get written consent from your boss or Human Resources.
- Alert your co-workers that you are bringing in your pet.
- Bring proper supplies, leash, water, treats, bedding.
- Keep your dog leashed and contained, don’t let them wander unattended, especially at lunchtime.
- Be sure and get them out regularly for walks.
- Be ready to remove them and take them home if they become a nuisance or a distraction.
If everyone in your workplace follows these simple guidelines, you and your colleagues can all benefit from the positive effects of having your pet there for the Friday Morning Meeting.
If your employer is willing to participate, remember that one of the goals of the week is to promote adoptions, so be sure and make that a prominent message in the promotion of the event. Some companies sponsor fundraiser events that day or ask employees to donate goods that can be used by local rescues or shelters.
If you are interested in participating or getting your company to participate, Pet Sitters International has a helpful Toolkit for getting started in the celebration. Check it out.