Pets are part of the family, and for one summer Friday each year…they are also part of the workforce thanks to our friends at Pet Sitters International®.  I feel privileged in that I get to do this everyday, but this Friday, June 22nd, 2018 marks PSI’s 20th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day®!

Since creating the event in 1999, PSI has encouraged employers across the United States—and around the globe—to open their doors to employees’ dogs for one day each year to celebrate our canine companions and promote adoptions. PSI offers a free downloadable event toolkit  that provides instructions for planning a TYDTWDay event, as well as employee participation forms and a sample “dogs at work” policy.

When PSI created Take Your Dog To Work Day® in 1999, PSI President Patti J. Moran says the day was initially met with skepticism. For 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.

“While TYDTWDay offers a fun opportunity to have dogs at work, its purpose has always been to encourage pet adoptions,” explained Beth Stultz, PSI vice-president and TYDTWDay spokesperson. “We hear from participating companies that partner with local shelters or rescue groups to allow them to bring in adoptable pets, host benefit luncheons or charity auctions, or plan contests such as dog-owner lookalike competitions to raise money for local pet-related organizations.”

I think it’s always awesome when pets and people co-exist.  You have often heard me speak of Zooeyia, the wellness and positive health attributes we receive from having animals in our lives.  Court rooms, schools (at exam time and following stressful events), hospitals have all recognized the calming benefits animals have on humans, and PSI has created a GRReat event to achieve those results in the workplace too.  As The Pet Safety Crusader™ you know however, that I’m going to want you to ensure it is bow wow wondeRUFFul for canine and human alike.  In the PSI toolkit mentioned above, there is an awesome PAWSome list of 7 Tips to make sure the day is a success:

  1. Do an office check. Be sure management and co-workers are on board and that no one is allergic, afraid or opposed in any way.  If so, figure out an alternate plan.
  2. Puppy-proof your work space. Get down on all fours to make sure your pooch won’t munch on toxic plants, get entangled in electric cords and that office supplies are out of paws reach.  Also be sure that your office hasn’t been recently sprayed with anything harmful to your best pal.
  3. Make sure Fido is fit for work. Vaccines – check. Bath – check. Manners – check. Don’t set your pooch up for disaster or ruin this event for others in the future. It is pawmazing when we get to do something special with our dogs, but remember…they are an ambassador for the cause, so only take dogs that are well socialized and comfortable in any situation they might encounter going to or while at your office.
  4. Prepare a doggie bag. Food, treats, clean-up items & pet first-aid kit (just in case), properly fitting harness & leash, maybe even a doggie gate or portable kennel.  Even the best behaved dogs need a time out.
  5. Plan feeding times carefully. When food goes in, other stuff comes out, so make sure you will have the time to feed him on schedule but also allow him to answer nature’s call.
  6. Avoid forcing co-workers to interact with your dog. Of course no one can resist that adorable fluffy face.  They just want to baby talk, cuddle and love on your dog. NOT!  There may be some co-workers who are afraid, a little on the sneezy-side or just not interested, believe it or not!  Stay vigilant however, to those who do meet your pooch to make sure they don’t unknowingly offer him chocolate, candy or other people food.
  7. Have an exit strategy. Sometimes looking at life from a shin or knee-perspective can become overwhelming.  Your dog is your family member, and although work is important, you must have a plan if spending the entire day at your office is not sitting well with your pooch.  Can you be allowed time to drive him home?  Do you have a professional pet sitter on standby?  Don’t be caught unprepared.

For companies unable to participate on Friday—or those who want to involve other pet types—the entire week leading up to Take Your Dog To Work Day is Take Your Pet To Work Week®, which kicks off with Take Your Cat To Work Day™ on Monday, June 18.

If your company is participating and would like PSI to share your info with media contacts seeking local participants, complete a short form on their website.

To learn more about PSI, its 20th annual TYDTWDay event and the 2018 sponsors, visit http://www.petsit.com/takeyourdog.

Catch my VIDEO VLOG on this topic at:  https://youtu.be/-TIX_xGl1tM