June 9, 2017
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work you… and Rover… go!
That’s right, folks – it’s time again for the awesome annual event, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Friday, June 23, 2017. Created and promoted by Pet Sitters International, the eagerly anticipated event is to “celebrate the great companions dogs make and celebrate their adoptions.” Take Your Dog to Work Day started back in 1999 to not only promote animal adoption and showcase what great companions dogs are to their humans, but also to encourage employers to support their animal-loving communities. Since its inception, the celebration has grown from not only the Friday following Father’s Day, but also to the entire week leading up to it so that cat and other pet owners and lovers can have their fair share of the fun. (This expanded event is called, “Take Your Pet to Work Week.”)
Seems that many folks are on board with the Fido-festivities, and workplaces are embracing the idea of having pets as office mates. Whether your workplace is already participating or simply entertaining the idea, we here at IC HQ’s — which of course has its own very pet-friendly office — believe there should be certain pawlicies to help ensure everyone is safe, happy, and productive.
The following pointers are those we follow here in our office, and encourage others to do as well:
Make sure that dogs are even allowed in your place of business in the first place.
If they are, then remember to thank your boss for allowing your canine companion to be part of your team, even just for one day. If not, then check with your employer and ask if he or she would be open to having dogs at the office for this special occasion. If you need a few pitch points to make your point, be sure to tell your boss that dogs help reduce stress, increase productivity, and having a pet in the office can be seen as a great perk.
Be sure the doggone details are clear to everyone involved.
Before the big day, hammer out the specifics and make sure that those bringing an inquisitive canine — and those who aren’t — are all on board. Will dogs be allowed in all areas, or will they be limited to specific locations such as the employee’s work area? Are there definitive rules about dogs being on the premises? If so, can the rules be modified? If the health department paid a visit, would anyone be reprimanded or would the presence of dogs be problematic for the company in any way? Where will the dogs take breaks (bathroom, meals, walks, playtime)? And where should employees discard their dogs’ waste?
Be considerate of non-canine hosting coworkers.
In addition to being clear about the physical parameters, those who are hosting canines should be sensitive to those who aren’t. Is everyone comfortable with a four-legged visitor? Does anyone have allergies or a fear of dogs that necessitates a canine-free zone? If so, be sure to steer clear of those not able or interested in taking part of Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Inspire others to vote for your dog as Employee of the Month.
Make sure your dog is prepared with proper office etiquette. Consider what behaviors he or she will need to have mastered before heading into the office. No matter the work environment, your dog most likely will need to know the basics: sit, greeting nicely, “watch me” (good for gaining his or her attention when needed), down-stay (while you have to actually work), loose leash walking (while you walk to and from and throughout the office and during various midday outings), and go-to-your-place (going to and staying in their bed or specific place).
A couple of other necessary skills are to make sure your inquisitive canine is office-trained and can tolerate strange noises (phones ringing, elevators dinging, office machinery, etc.). Think about what your dog might be introduced to throughout the time he or she is with you at work, including new people, sights, sounds, and smells. A completely different environment can make a dog uncomfortable, especially if he or she has never before been around such conditions.
Train the behavior before you need the behavior — do a dress rehearsal.
If your dog is already savvy at his or her canine behaviors for the office, we still recommend you practice. If you can do a dress rehearsal in your office for a brief stint before the “big day,” it’ll make it easier on your dog (and you) when you are there for eight hours or more. Even a short period of time can pave the way to an easy and fun Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Even if you don’t have an office to go to, you can still celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day.
What if you’re retired, work at home or aren’t allowed to bring your dog to work but you would like to help promote dog rescue and shelter adoption? Here are a few ideas for joining in the celebration:
- If you’re retired or work at home: Assuming that you have a well-mannered dog whose skills you’d like to show off, ask friends and family if you can bring your pooch to their office for a “meet and greet.” This can be fun for you, your dog, and those with whom you socialize.
- If dogs aren’t allowed in your workplace, then consider bringing in photographs and/or video clips and share with your coworkers. This can be a nice way to spend time around the water cooler.
- If you don’t have a dog but you want to help promote shelter adoptions: Take a field trip during lunch and visit your local animal shelter. You could find out more about volunteer programs, as well as adopting or fostering a dog of your own.
Whether your dog is already an employee of the month or still developing his or her good manners, it’s best to plan ahead. Developing a strategy to ensure success for you and your dog can not only help promote Take Your Dog to Work Day, but it also just might enable you to bring your dog to work at other times.
What a great way to boost employee morale!
Wanna join the conversation? Just head to the comment section below. Care to share pics and videos of your inquisitive canine? We invite you to post on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter – Tweet to us and we’ll Tweet ya back!