by Melody Keilig
We get it: it’s difficult to leave your home with your pup whining and begging for you to stay with them all day. It's time to think about letting your four legged best friend join you at work.
Maybe you’re heading back to the office after spending a few years working remotely, or maybe your work schedule never changed. Either way, getting one day to bring your dog to work can make your dog feel special and give you a more casual day at work. Plus, if most of your coworkers bring their dogs, your work can host a fun doggie meet-and-greet!
So, let’s dig into how this holiday started, how you can get your workplace involved, and a few safety tips!
How it All Started
National Take Your Dog to Work Day began in 1999 after Pet Sitters International (PSI) came up with the idea to celebrate companion dogs and service dogs while encouraging adoption. Among those benefits, it’s also a great way to break the ice with your coworkers this June 24th!
Imagine starting a new job and walking into a workplace with everyone’s dogs present. Wouldn’t it be much easier to strike up a conversation and get to know the people you’ll be working with? And, if you could bring your pup on your first day on the job, would you be less nervous walking into your new workplace?
We know that having a dog in our life brings us many important benefits, so why shouldn’t we have an excuse to bring our furbaby with us in the morning? Even if it’s only for one day out of the year!
How to Get Your Workplace Involved
So you’re ready to tell your boss that the workplace must celebrate National Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 24th. But how do you convince them that it benefits everyone and won’t become distracting?
This conversation can be easy or challenging, depending on whether your boss is a dog lover or sees it as something that would get in the way of the workday. Talk to your boss about how bringing in dogs for one day will encourage more conversation among coworkers and strengthen everyone's work relationship.
Then, explain how you’ll keep the dogs safe in the workplace and out of trouble. Make your boss confident that you are taking on the responsibility for organizing National Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Next, get your coworkers involved in the idea to ensure that they would join in if they have a dog.
While you’re at it, ask your coworkers without a dog if they would be okay with everyone bringing their dog to work. We know that being dog lovers, we may assume that everyone around us loves them as much as we do. But we don’t know everyone’s history with dogs, so ask your coworkers without a dog if they would be comfortable with dogs being in the workplace for one day.
If you get the okay from everyone at your workplace, then it’s time to plan and get people more excited about this special day! Prepare ice breakers and dog games to play so the pups get as much enjoyment out of the day as everyone else. After all, you don’t want them getting bored on their big day!
Take the time to learn more about your coworkers and their dogs, and have everyone ask each other questions about when they brought their dog home. Then, have conversations about adoption, how to help animal shelters, and discuss what everyone else thinks about adopting and buying a dog from a reputable breeder.
If there's a disagreement about adoption versus buying from a breeder, ensure everyone gets a chance to voice their opinion. Encourage conversations about adoption, which is the day's original intent, but keep it lighthearted and fun.
Extend the conversation by talking about adoption parties for puppies and dogs, or ask your coworkers how they celebrate their dog’s birthday or “gotcha” day. Ask your coworkers what their dog’s party theme would be and what they would do for their dream adoption party.
Get those doggy conversations going so everyone at work can get to know more about each other. All while enjoying the company of dogs and puppies for the day!
Doggy Safety Tips for Bringing Your Pup to Work
So you’re bringing your dog to work, but have you thought about how all of the dogs will be introduced? Chat with your coworkers to learn how their dogs interact with others to ensure a safe environment.
Some dogs may be shy or get scared when meeting new people and new dogs at the same time. Better to check ahead to ensure that nobody's dogs will get spooked by the excitement and commotion.
Coordinate with everyone bringing their dogs to meet in a quiet and calm location in the workplace. This way, the dogs can safely meet and have some time to get comfortable around each other.
Although the dogs should be able to freely walk around the main work area, make sure they aren’t able to run into any potentially dangerous areas or get outside.
Walk into work with your dog on a leash so they don’t excitedly run inside and possibly spook another dog. When it comes to feeding time, keep the dogs separated so there’s no snarling or aggression between them. This isn’t to say that all dogs get defensive about their food, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If National Take Your Dog to Work Day goes well, there’s a good chance that your coworkers will want to participate again next time!
Dog Supplies to Bring
As mentioned above, bring your dog’s collar and leash to lead them into your workplace and when meeting the other dogs. Plus, it’ll be safer when driving in and out of the parking lot knowing that there won’t be dogs running around on the loose. Bring your dog’s food, their favorite treats, and a few toys.
Whether your dog is a lounger or you have a puppy who is sure to crash after the excitement, bringing their bed would be a good idea to give them a comfortable place to nap.
After the safety precautions, National Take Your Dog to Work Day should be a day of fun at your 9 to 5 that everyone is sure to remember! So come up with more ideas to entertain the dogs and keep the excitement going for a welcome change of pace at work.
Want to join a growing community of fellow dog lovers? Of course, you do! Share your ideas for National Take Your Dog to Work Day in our exclusive Porch Potty Facebook Group!