At my house, every week is Take Your Pet to Work Week. This year, it falls on June 22-26, with the CATS’ day on Monday, and the DOGS’ day on Friday. For many folks who now work at home, for the first time they’re experiencing work with furry companions 24/7.
Created by Pet Sitters International in 1999 to help promote pet adoptions, this week celebrates the 22nd anniversary of the event. I’ve written about this nearly every year, so you’ll recognize some of the pictures in the blog.
This year, of course, we have a new puppy, Shadow, helping us celebrate. And we’re navigating a new “normal” with Bravo’s cancer diagnosis. I’ll share later this week about Bravo’s amputation this past Wednesday, and his recovery progress.
My Furry Muses
I’m incredibly fortunate that I get to share my office space every day with my pets. Karma-Kat and the Bravo-Dawg inspire my pet-writing dream on a daily basis. When I’m having a particularly hectic day, getting a purr fix, or doggy wag of encouragement does wonders for stress and general well-being.
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.
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 businesses 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 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.
PSI offers a free downloadable event toolkit that provides instructions for planning a TYDTWDay event, as well as employee participation forms and a sample “dogs at work” policy.
PURINA PETS AT WORK REPORT
Three years ago, 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. The information still applies today.
There are so many health benefits, that having pets at work may even impact insurance issues.
“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. Kurt 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.”
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 another fundraiser 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.
EDUCATION IS KEY
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 lunchroom or bathrooms.
So what about you? Do you take your pets to work? Is that how you help show your pet love? You can spread the word on social media and help educate businesses to the benefits. PSI encourages you to share photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the #takeyourdogtoworkday, #takeyourcattoworkday or #takeyourpettoworkweek hashtags.
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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