We have often seen how animals, especially dogs, have been brought to hospitals and how they have a therapeutic effect on the patients. In a prevention is better than cure sort of way, we now also have Take Your Dog To Work Day.
Celebrated on a Friday each year, Take Your Dog To Work Day, as its name implies, is when employees are allowed to bring their canine companion to work with them.
Other than to give recognition for the companionship offered by our pets, the objective of bringing your four-legged joy to work is so that the same therapeutic effects of these animals we mentioned earlier can be put to work…at work!
Dogs have been known to have a positive effect on employee productivity and wellbeing, and can significantly reduce the stress levels at the workplace. If it can work for the sick at hospitals, imagine the wonders it can do for healthy people at work!
History and Background of Take Your Dog To Work Day
The Take Your Dog To Work Day (sometimes abbreviated to TYDTWD or TYDTWDay) was initiated by Pet Sitters International in 1999. It was first celebrated in the United States on Friday, 24th June that year. At that time, 300 companies participated in this campaign worldwide.
Pets.com bought over the rights to this special day in 2000, and when this website closed its business in the same year due to the dot-com crash, the rights to TYDTWD was returned to Pet Sitters International.
Each year, a Poster Dog is selected to represent this special occasion. And with every passing year, more and more companies participate in this celebration by allowing their employees to bring their pet dogs to work.
In 2015, Pet Sitters International replayed the 2001 theme “Because Who’s Ever Heard of Working Like a Cat” in a playful banter at how dogs are often associated with work, such as the phrase “work like a dog” we hear quite commonly at the workplace.
Last year (2018) marked the 20th anniversary of Take Your Dog To Work Day and was held on 22nd June 2018.
Take Your Dog To Work Day 2019
This year (2019), Take Your Dog To Work Day will be celebrated on 21st June 2019. And yes, it is a Friday, fresh off celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
If you’re living in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, you can be part of this special day, although any company in any country can choose to celebrate this day in their own way.
Speak with your employer if the company is ok with you bringing your pet dog to work on this day. Not all employers may see a reason to celebrate this, and there may be an issue of sensitivities if a large part of the workforce consists of a certain ethnic or religious group.
Employers who choose not to allow their staff to bring dogs to work may also celebrate this day by sending a donation to Bring Your Dog To Work Day. With a slight twist in the name, this UK-based organisation collects donations and raise funds for charity. The funds raised this year will be channelled to All Dogs Matter and Animals Asia for their mission and rescue work.
Companies which donate and become sponsors can also choose to have their company logo featured on the organisation’s website for exposure as a token of appreciation. For more information, visit Bring Your Dog To Work.
What Happens After This Day
Take Your Dog To Work Day was created with the belief that this event gives co-workers who don’t own a dog an opportunity to witness the special bond and relationship between animal and man, and with the hope that this awareness may prompt them to adopt dogs from animal shelters.
For those who keep non-canine pets, you may be pleased to learn that the week following Take Your Dog To Work Day is Take Your Pet To Work Week. Also initiated by Pet Sitters International, this is the week when pet owners can bring their cats, birds, hamsters and other animals to work to celebrate with their dog-owning colleagues.
If you’re a dog owner and are on leave on the Dog Day (or if the Friday is a holiday), you can choose to bring your dog on the Pet Week.
Take Your Pet To Work Week 2019 starts on the Monday following the Friday 21st June 2019 for dogs, and will last for the entire week from Monday to Friday. (24th – 28th June 2019).
And, remember to observe all sensitivities regarding bringing your pet to work:
- Check with your manager, boss or HR department if the company allows for staff to participate in this celebration.
- Check if there is any company guideline regarding this if it is allowed.
- Inform your colleagues what pet you will be bringing and check if anyone is sensitive or allergic to certain kinds of pets. I remember a time many years ago when my boss wasn’t too keen about my pet iguana sitting on my work desk.
- Do not force your colleague to handle your pet if he or she is uncomfortable with it.
- Bring along a carrier where your pet can rest comfortably when it is not being engaged or when it needs to feel safe around other animals.
- If your dog or pet suffers from a symptom such as blindness, it may be best to leave it at home and not stress it out at work.
- Pre-empt cases of emergencies where you may not be able to keep your pet at work, and have a pet sitter available on call should the need arises. Never leave your pet unattended in the car under any circumstances. It is not only unethical but an offence in many parts of the world.
For more information about Take Your Pet To Work Week, visit the Pet Sitters International website.
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