National Take Your Dog to Work Day

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This year, as we negotiate life with COVID-19, it may be more important than ever for people to reconnect with their coworkers. Therefore, it’s time to have some fun, and what better way to do so
than to spotlight your loveable dog and share its antics with your coworkers?

National Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 26, 2020. It falls on the Friday after Father’s Day each year. It was started in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, or PSI, as a way to celebrate companion dogs and encourage adoptions. Pet Sitters International believes that seeing how coworkers interact with their dogs will encourage those without dogs to adopt a shelter or rescue dog.
To celebrate National Take Your Dog to Work Day in your company, you will need to get management involved and their approval. You can pitch the idea that pets promote better communication and teamwork to your boss. If the business shut downs of the spring continue, perhaps you can organize a video conference spotlighting and celebrating your dogs! PSI puts together a free Action Pact that can be downloaded from their website. It contains event forms, planning tips and other information. Registration is not required and your company may participate without informing PSI in advance.

There are many activities that you can plan and carry out on National Take Your Dog to Work Day. One popular activity is to host a fundraiser and donate the funds to a local pet shelter. Ask coworkers for photos of dogs and their owners. Charge a nominal fee and select an impartial panel to judge the Dog-Owner Look-Alike Contest.

Another fun activity is to put on a pet fair. Collect all kinds of free materials from the ASPCA or local pet shelter. Ask a local pet sitter or pet store to help you set up the booth. Use the booth to share information with coworkers about popular dog breeds, adopting a dog and care, exercise and feeding of dogs. Perhaps those who don’t have dogs could talk to workers from local shelters and volunteer to donate a few hours to help with the feeding, walking and other activities. Shelters rarely have all the help they need.

Possibly the most popular activities are those where your pooch shows his or her stuff. Have contests that include the friendliest dog, best-dressed dog, best obedience demonstration, best Frisbee catcher, and anything else that you can think of. You can find beautiful ribbon with paw prints on the websites of badge companies as well as other types of inexpensive awards. Tie the ribbon around a doggie bone for the pooch and give a certificate to the owner. Be sure to take pictures for the company newsletter.

Of course, it’s possible that your dog is not a dog at all but an untrained, rambunctious puppy. Do everyone a favor and leave the pup at home. Few older employees will like trying to dodge a puppy twisting around their feet. Falls are the leading accidental cause of death in seniors, and seniors rightly fear them. Instead, make a commitment to take the puppy to training classes and plan to participate in next year’s event. This year dedicate yourself to helping organize the event!

Additional benefits for the company are publicity and healthier employees. Your company can get loads of free publicity if the local media decides to pick up your event and puts it on the evening news. Research has shown that employees who walk their dogs every day benefit from the exercise. Related research shows that owners relieve stress and lower blood pressure while petting their animal. Good public relations with a boost to employee morale and health equal a win-win activity for the company.

Maybe you don’t have a dog. Perhaps you prefer your parrot, goldfish or other exotic animal. In the days leading up to National Take Your Dog to Work Day, ask your boss if you can bring in your pet and show it off.

Cat lovers can celebrate too. For obvious reasons, it would not be a good idea to have national cat and dog day on the same day, but can someone set up National Take Your Cat to Work Day. This year it falls on June 22, 2020. Cats are curious. Some are more adventurous than others. Some are real fur balls that only want to sleep. Think about your cat’s personality and plan accordingly. Bring in the cat’s favorite toys, bed and carrier. Undoubtedly, your cat will find plenty of pen cups, paper clip holders and paperwork to knock askew. Prepare your coworkers for the additional mess. Whatever happens, a cat will entertain you all day long. ■

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