Wow, it is hard to believe that today is the Tenth Anniversary of Take Your Dog to Work Day. For those of us who work with animals–this is nothing new–but in the urban jungle you might be surprised to find out that one in five businesses are pet friendly.
The statistics come from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (AAPMA, 2006) survey which revealed that about one in five American companies allowed pets in the workplace. The belief is that having pets on site contributes to a more creative environment, helps coworkers get along better, and decreases absenteeism.
Take Your dog to Work Day focuses on bringing awareness, not just animals, into the workplace.
Other goals of Take Your Dog to Work Day are to facilitate positive interactions between employees at the workplace and to encourage businesses to cooperate with local animal shelters so the number of adoptions is increased. This year the concern is focused on those animals who are victims of foreclosures.
Many animals have been abandoned because of the housing crisis which has forced families from their homes. Animal shelters in Los Angeles, one of country’s hard-hit foreclosure regions, saw a spike of 16% overall in pet drop-offs and the number of animals euthanized shot up 31% in the first four months of 2008, over the same period in 2007.
According to PSI President Patti Moran, this year’s Take Your Dog To Work Day highlights the bond between dog and human with the intention of impacting dogless co-workers who will see how much joy a four-legged friend could bring into their lives so that they choose to adopt.
Thousands of “pet-friendly” companies participate.
There are some important rules to follow if you take an animal to work. The big one is to take responsibility for your pet and never paw it off on someone else—no matter what you position.
My community is very pet friendly and our local kitty supervisors and other critter crew members wonder why they aren’t included in the event–but then they go to work every day!”
To avoid a beastly workday, here are Take Your Dog to Work Day tips:
-be sensitive to allergic or fearful employees (and clients) by providing “animal free” zones or using creative scheduling
-provide guidelines to pet parents who plan to bring critters to work
-review or ask for a pet resume that highlights the good citizen traits and manners
-encourage the use of allergy reducing products on pets before they arrive on the workplace
-encourage coffee breaks to coincide with potty breaks
Pet participants should be
-disease and parasite free
-neutered or not in season
-human and animal friendly
Pet parents should
-safely transport their pets to and from work using seat belts or crates (No, it is not true that a dog qualifies you for the car pool lane!)
-arrive with healthy, clean, well behaved animals (recent bath, no fleas, up to date vaccinations)
-bring leash, bowls, toys, treats, and familiar blankets or crates
-schedule breaks for energy release, snacks, and elimination
-bring poop bags and pet hair pickup aids to clean up after your pooch
-give your dog a work station and something to do (use a leash or crate for boundaries and have a chew toy)
For those of you wondering, the old idiom “work like a dog” means to work hard. The song Hard Day’s Night (Beatles, 1964) uses the term but I have not found a source stating just how far back the phrase goes. Usage seems to derive from the fact that dogs were one of the early domesticated animals put to work for humans. Other similar terms have origins from the 16th & 17th century. (If you know the origin please comment below)