It’s that time of year again — when our work days all seem much better for having the company of our dogs. Haven’t experienced the joy that is Take Your Dog to Work Day yet? Here’s why your workplace needs to take part.
This year, Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 21. The day was started by Pet Sitters International back in 1999. That first year saw around 300 companies across the U.S. take part, celebrating what amazing companions dogs can make. And two decades later, Take Your Dog to Work Day is an international event. The day aims to raise awareness for the number of dogs — and other companion animals — who are stuck in animal shelters needing homes.
“Take Your Dog to Work Day encourages businesses to allow their employees’ dogs in the workplace for one fun summer Friday to celebrate the great companions dogs make and promote their adoptions from local shelters, rescue groups and humane societies,” Beth Stultz, Pet Sitters International’s vice president of marketing and operations, told The Dodo.
Summer can be a particularly slow time when it comes to pet adoptions. As families focus on their vacations and other summer plans, taking on a new animal can be the furthest thing from their minds.
But that doesn’t stop pets from entering shelters every day. The ASPCA estimates that around 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters across the U.S. every year. Of those animals, 1.5 million go on to be euthanized. So Take Your Dog to Work Day is an important day of awareness to try to combat these numbers.
With Amazon, Ben & Jerrys and Ticketmaster listed as some of the most pet-friendly companies out there, we hope your boss will be easy to persuade to take part in Take Your Dog to Work Day. But if they need a little more encouragement, here are some ways having a dog around can benefit your health.
Dogs can reduce stress, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and overall they can lower the strain we put on our hearts. Having a dog around makes us more sociable and active. If there is a dog in your workplace and you’re having a bad day, a few minutes playing with the dog will not only make you feel calmer, but it might also increase your productivity and encourage you to get back to work.
Of course, there are many factors to consider when bringing any animal into the workplace. Some colleagues might have phobias or allergies. The work environment might not be conducive to dogs in terms of hygiene, equipment or noises. And there will always be that well-meaning colleague who keeps sneaking your dog unhealthy snacks or doesn’t know other proper dog handling.
If your workplace isn’t taking part in Take Your Dog to Work Day, we’re sorry. If you follow the hashtag on Twitter you can see what other, luckier people are up to. And perhaps your boss can be persuaded to take part next year.
But even if you can’t experience the joy of having a dog at work, why not take one home? There are millions of dogs in shelters just waiting for their forever homes — and to make every day a more joyful one for you.
Photo credit: Sheila Brown/Public Domain