I’m incredibly fortunate that I get to share my office space every day with my cats Seren-Kitty, Karma-Kat and Magical-dog every day all year long. When I’m having a particularly hectic day, getting a purr fix, or doggy wag of encouragement does wonders. Surveys indicate that one in five companies allow pets in the workplace. People who bring their pets actually work longer hours! You can get started on this pet-revolution this Friday.
2017 marks the 19th annual celebration of Take Your Dog To Work Day and event creator Pet Sitters International reflects on the growth of pet-friendly policies and encourages companies to “make it their business” to help pets in need on June 23.
TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY!
Pet Sitter’s International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day® (TYDTWDay) was created to spotlight what terrific companions dogs are, and encourage adoptions. The annual event encourages employers to experience the benefits and value of pets in the workplace, and to support and celebrate the pet community. Pet Sitters, animal shelters, and business of all kinds join in this fur-tastic Friday event.
WHY PETS AT WORK?
When PSI created Take Your Dog To Work Day® in 1999, PSI President Patti Moran says the day was initially met with skepticism. For nearly two decades, however, large, small and mid-sized companies have answered the call, celebrating dogs at work and often also raising money for local pet-rescue organizations and animal shelters.
This year, PSI is also using the campaign to raise awareness and funds for Pet for Patriots, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that helps veterans and military members adopt the most overlooked shelter pets, offering them a second chance at life through adoption. Pet lovers are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation to Pets for Patriots through the Take Your Dog To Work Day online donation page.
PURINA PETS AT WORK REPORT
In celebration of National Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 23, Purina launched the first Pets at Work Report, examining pet owners and their attitudes around having pets in the workplace, and the benefits it brings to employers and employees.
I’ve visited the folks at Purina, and have been impressed for years that the company actually encouraged bringing pets to work. So I was thrilled to receive this new information from the company, along with comments from Purina’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Kurt Venator.
“Pets bring a wealth of benefits – both physical and emotional – to pet owners and their families, so it’s no surprise those same benefits also apply to the workplace and employees,” said Dr. Venator. “Whether a pet helps provide a calming sense during a challenging situation or encourages employees to take a walk during their lunch break, here at Purina, we experience the benefits of pets at work every day and want others to as well.” Check out the report here.
Even if you can’t have dogs in the workplace, consider alternate celebrations such as having employees bring photos of their pets. How about asking your company to host a fundraiser for an animal shelter in your community? Think about hosting contests, such as best pet outfit or owner/pet look-alikes (for pictures) or best trick (if dogs get to attend). Maybe a hot dog luncheon or a Pet First Aid “Lunch and Learn” session would be appropriate. It doesn’t have to happen today–pets provide us with their furry gifts 365 days a year.
Ask a local shelter or rescue organization to join your event. Invite them to bring adoptable pets or information to your workplace. Maybe you could hold a silent auction or other fund raiser to benefit the shelter—or set up a “Good Samaritan” fund for people unable to afford emergency pet care during these times of financial challenge.
TYDTWDay is the perfect opportunity to educate employees about all things pets. Maybe a local veterinarian, PSI member or other pet professional could present a pet care session or offer dog-walking service during the event. Visit PSI to find a member in your area.
If you’re fortunate to be able to bring pets on Friday, be sure to handle the pet situation responsibly. Dogs should be kept on a leash, or otherwise confined in the employee’s office or area. Baby gates work well to cordon areas to keep pets confined. You can also designate “pet free zones” such as the lunch room or bathrooms.
For more tips how to convince your boss, set up a program, and celebration ideas, visit TakeYourDog.com. Now excuse me…I’ve got to go consult with my furry office mates.
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