Dogs have lived amongst humans for thousands of years, and dog lovers are always looking for fun ways to celebrate their furry companions. You can find several different dog-centric holidays all throughout the year, and one fun celebration is National Take Your Dog to Work Day. This holiday is observed on the Friday following Father’s Day, in the month of June.
There isn’t a standard set of rules that companies must observe for National Take Your Dog to Work Day, and not all businesses have to celebrate this day. So, before you plan to bring your dog to work, make sure that your workplace has a pet-friendly policy and an event scheduled on this day.
A Brief History of National Take Your Dog to Work Day
Take Your Dog to Work Day was first observed in the US in 1999. The purpose of this day was to raise awareness for dog companionship and promote dog adoptions. 2023 will mark the 25th annual celebration of National Take Your Dog to Work Day.
This holiday was created by Pet Sitters International (PSI), which is an organization that provides education for professional pet sitters and promotes excellent pet-sitting practices. PSI has a free National Take Your Dog to Work Day toolkit that helps people plan and execute a successful celebration event. This toolkit also includes talking points that you can use to encourage and persuade your workplace to celebrate and participate in festivities.
Tips for Celebrating National Take Your Dog to Work Day
Doing your best to make this holiday enjoyable for your entire workplace can help continue celebrations for many more years. Here are five key things you can do to pull off a successful National Take Your Dog to Work Day celebration.
Familiarize Yourself with Workplace Pet Policies
First, it’s important to make sure that your workplace allows pets. Workplaces don’t have to accommodate dogs and may have a pet policy in place that restricts non-service dogs from entering their premises.
If your workplace has a pet-friendly policy, then make sure to read through all the rules to prevent any violations. While it’s difficult for workplaces to create a pet-friendly policy quickly, it’s easy for it to be removed if there are significant violations or incidents made by dogs.
Make sure to notify your supervisor or company event planning committee about this holiday several months in advance. Giving an early notice can give ample amount of time for committees to discuss and plan how your workplace can participate in this holiday. You can also offer help with planning to ensure that the workplace is prepared for dogs by the time June rolls around.
Planning well in advance can also help you ensure that you have rules set in place to make the event safe and fun for everyone. Some helpful things to consider include dog sign-up sheets, requests for proof of vaccinations, and ensuring that dogs with aggressive or destructive behaviors remain at home. You can also make a quick document with rules that dog owners must follow, such as only allowing fully potty-trained dogs inside the office.
Planning early can also help you get designated dog-friendly spaces approved. These places can include areas where dogs can play and be let out to relieve themselves.
Create a Donation Campaign
Many workplaces will be more willing to host an event if it includes a fundraising campaign or other means of contributing to the surrounding community. You can look up local animal shelters or rescues that your workplace can fundraise for or have a collection box where people can donate food and pet supplies for shelters.
Some animal shelters may have one-day volunteer opportunities for corporate groups. So, you can try coordinating with an organization to volunteer at its location or help host an adoption event.
Schedule in Advance
If scheduling meetings are a regular part of your job, make sure to start scheduling meetings around National Take Your Dog to Work Day. Even if you have a well-behaved dog, it may still be a bit of a distraction at work, especially if other dogs will be around. Since your dog will be in a new environment, it will prefer to be with you, and stepping away for meetings can cause anxiety.
Prepare Your Workstation
Start preparing your workspace for your dog. Make sure to bring a comfortable bed and some of your dog’s favorite toys. Having a stash of chews and treats can help keep your dog entertained and less distracting as you work.
It’ll also be helpful to bring a blanket or a sweater with your scent on it. This can be comforting for your dog as it adjusts to a new environment.
Prepare Your Dog
You can prepare your dog for a National Take Your Dog to Work Day event in several ways. You can bring your dog outside of your workplace a couple of times before the event so that it can become familiar with the building.
Make sure to exercise your dog the day before and the morning before you take your dog to work. Giving it opportunities to exert extra energy can help it stay calm. It may also be helpful to feed your dog calming chews or place a calming collar around its neck if these items have an effect on your dog.
National Take Your Dog to Work Day is an excellent way to celebrate dogs and the invaluable companionship and bond they can create with humans. Not only does this holiday enable you to spend a workday with your dog, but it can also raise awareness for adoptions and support local animal rescues.
So, make sure to see if your workplace can host an event this year and plan well in advance. It’ll be a great way to add extra fun to your workplace and support adoption centers in rehoming dogs to their forever homes.
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