Pack up your pooches. Today is Pet Sitter International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day.
This year marks the 19th annual celebration of the day where businesses around the globe open their doors to man’s best friend. PSI, the world’s largest educational association for pet sitters, started the event in order to give back to the pets and owners who kept the pet sitters in business.
The first celebration took place in 1999 and attracted the participation of about 300 businesses. From there, the popularity has only grown, with businesses in the U.S., England, Brazil, Philippines and more already stating their intent to participate in this year’s celebration. But, TYDTWDay is about so much more then bringing a furry companion along to the office.
“When PSI created Take Your Dog to Work Day in 1999, the day was initially met with skepticism,” said PSI spokesperson Beth Stultz. “For nearly 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.”
One of the main goals of PSI and TYDTWDay is to advocate for pet adoption.
“PSI feels that through the events, non-pet owners are able to witness the special bond their co-workers have with their pets firsthand and be encouraged to adopt a new best friend of their own,” reads the PSI website.
The support that PSI provides for pet adoption, has lead several animal shelters to advocate for TYDTWDay, including Kingman’s Mutt Matchers and Friends.
“We think it is a wonderful thing – dogs have been proven to be an asset in a workplace, and other places,” said Judy Torgerson of Mutt Matchers. “They have a calming presence for most people and if you are calm, you are also relaxed.”
For 2017, PSI is using TYDTWDay to raise awareness and funds for Pets for Patriots, a charitable organization. Pets for Patriots helps veterans and military members adopt the most overlooked shelter pets, offering the pets a second chance at life, and the military members a new friend.
PSI is encouraging any pet owners who would like to make a donation to Pets for Patriots, to do so by visiting the organizations website at www.petsforpatriots.org.
While there are some obvious businesses that should not directly participate in TYDTWDay, such as restaurants, grocery stores, heavy manufacturing businesses, etc. PSI says that there are several businesses that are perfect for a one day visit by a few furry friends.
“Participants we hear from each year range from government offices and locally-owned small businesses to larger corporations and workplaces in a variety of industries.” Stultz said.
One business in Kingman that allows employees to bring dogs year round is the pet grooming center, The Dog House. While the employees of The Dog House are in a unique position when it comes to bringing dogs to work, they still see the benefits of having a pet in their workspace.
“I love being with my dogs at work,” said co-owner of The Dog House Carol Evans. “I don’t like them to just stay home. When they get to come here, they can’t get out of the door quick enough. It also helps that they’re great examples of the grooming we do.”
If your place of work has accepted the call to participate in TYDTWDay and you want to bring in your pet to spend a day at the office, PSI has offered some tips to ensure the success of a great celebration.
• Do a check of the office and fellow employees. Make sure all are fine with a pet being around the office, and that no one has an dog allergy, or are uncomfortable with a pooch in the office. If there are coworkers who wish to not have a dog at the business, respect their wishes and use one of the many other suggestions that PSI has to still celebrate the day. For example: a puppy photo contest.
• Puppy-proof your work space. Make sure that the environment where your dog will be is safe for them. Remove poisonous plants, cover electrical cords/wires and be sure to put away any toxic items such as correction fluid or permanent markers.
• Make sure Fido is fit for work. You know your dog best, so make sure they can handle the new environment and strangers. If your dog gets shy or aggressive when around strangers, it may be best for the office and the dog for you to leave them home for the day. Also, make sure they are bathed, groomed and ready to make a good first impression.
• Prepare a doggie bag. Prepare anything and everything your dog may need throughout the day – food, toys, paper towels and cleanup bags, etc. Also, if you are constantly leaving your work area, make sure to bring a small gate or kennel to leave your dog in while you are away. Puppies can cause a lot of trouble in a short period of time, be prepared.
• Plan feeding times carefully. Having your dog need a bathroom break during an important meeting or call is definitely not ideal. Make sure you plan feeding time appropriately around your work schedule, and have an appropriate area ready for the dog to relieve itself when needed.
• Do not force co-workers to interact with your dog. Most people who love dogs will make themselves known. Do not force interaction on a coworker who may be uncomfortable with dogs. Also, monitor the amount of treats your dog is given throughout the day, you don’t want an accident.
• Have an exit strategy. If things do not go as planned, and you need to remove your dog from the workplace, the worst thing you can do would be to just leave them out in the car. Take a quick trip home to drop them off, or have a puppy sitter in mind who could take them in a moment’s notice.
Mutt Matchers’ Torgerson also offers a quick tip, “A nice bed for them to lay on is nice, as well as keeping them leashed. Some people are not fond of dogs, and this way the owner can ensure that his or her dog will not bother them.
“If the dog is trained to ‘sit’ and ‘down’ that is always a plus.”
For more information on Take Your Dog to Work Day, visit the PSI website at www.petsit.com.