Today, many dog owners around the United States took their canine friends to the office for the 20th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day. The event is a way to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to promote dog adoptions.
Take Your Dog to Work Day was started in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, an educational group for professional pet sitters. The day is always celebrated on the first Friday after Father's Day. In its first year in 1999, some 300 businesses participated. That number has since grown exponentially.
Research suggests that having pets in the workplace reduces stress, fosters better communication, and improves employee morale, Business.com reported. Of course, it's not for everyone, since there are some individuals who have pet allergies that make the practice prohibitive.
Amazon Welcomes Dogs In The Office Year-AroundThat said, some companies, like Amazon, allows dogs in the office 365 days a year. As many as 6,000 dogs "work" alongside their humans at Amazon offices, CNBC reported.
Amazon boasts a leash-free dog park, dog-friendly water fountains, and a fake fire hydrant, among other amenities.
"Dogs in the workplace is an unexpected mechanism for connection," said Lara Hirschfield, Amazon's "Woof Pack" Manager. "I see Amazonians meeting each other in our lobbies or elevators every day because of their dogs."In order to make sure that Take Your Dog To Work Day doesn't turn into a disaster, here are some tips Pet Sitters International shared:
- Do an office check. Make sure no one at your office is allergic to dogs or is afraid of them.
- Puppy-proof your work space. Put away electrical cords and wires and get rid of toxic items such as correction fluid and permanent markers.
- Make sure dog is fit for work. Be sure to groom your dog before taking him to work, and make certain he/she has the temperament to be calm at the office.
- Prepare a doggie bag. Bring snacks and other items you normally take along when you take Fido out.
- Have an exit strategy. Have a plan for if your dog gets anxious or acts up, or a colleague gets uneasy.
"This is a really big issue," said Cynthia Otto, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Working Dog Center. "Lots of these canine officers are exposed and their handlers don't even know what an overdose looks like [in these animals]."