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Take your Dog to Work Day - June 23

Take Your Dog to Work Day (or TYDTWD) takes place on Friday 23rd June 2017 in Australia and around the world.

First started in the UK back in 1996, this celebration became popular in the United States in 1999. The day celebrates the companionship our dogs provide and also encourages adoptions from local shelters and rescue groups.

Employers are asked to open their businesses to pet dogs to promote the benefits of pet ownership and encourage animal adoption. It is well documented that pets provide a number of physical and mental health benefits for people. Pet dogs in an office environment can be a very positive experience for both workers and the dogs however there are a few rules to follow.

These tips from the RSPCA should help make this experience run smoothly in your workplace...

1. Preparation before Taking your Dog to Work

Check with your office to see if bringing your dog to work is appropriate and will not affect the health and welfare of your fellow co-workers. Some work environments may be unsuitable as they're not safe for dogs. 

2. In the Workplace on the Day

  • Bring your dog’s favourite blanket, bed, food and water bowl and some toys so that he feels comfortable in this new environment. Having their favourite toys with them will also help keep them stay occupied whilst you’re busy working.
  • Dogs should remain at the desk of their owner, or the desk of another designated responsible person. For some dogs, this may mean tethering the dog. This is to ensure your dog doesn’t wander or get hurt. If appropriate, the dog may also accompany their owner to other areas in the office such as meeting rooms etc. 
  • When you arrive in the morning, let your dog have some free time to meet any other dogs and say hello to your co-workers. 
  • Set aside time for toilet breaks and to take your dog for a good walk or walks throughout the day. Walking your dog during your lunch break is not only great exercise for them, but a great opportunity to leave the office and get some fresh air. 
  • Be ready to clean up after your dog. New environments can be exciting and confusing so accidents may occur. Frequent toilet breaks should minimise any risk of this occurring but if it happens, never punish your dog.
  • To help keep your co-workers happy, dogs should not have access to the kitchen area. If they accidentally do enter the kitchen area, call them towards you (using a food treat is helpful) and reward them when they come to you. Prevent access to the area by closing doors. 
  • Ensure your dog and their belongings do not become trip hazards in the office and be sure to clean up any debris associated with your dog. 
Remember to reward your dog’s calm behaviour in the office. Rewarding calm behaviour reinforces calmness and makes the dog more likely to behave in this way again in the future.

What if you could bring your dog to work every day?

A US survey found that 78% of employed pet parents would bring their dog to work if their employer allowed it—and nearly two-thirds (63%) would bring them along frequently.
For some lucky employees and their pooches, this is already a reality as more and more companies worldwide are adopting dog-friendly office policies, though Australia seems to be lagging behind yet again!

Amazon US added a small dog park to their facilities and provides doggie water fountains and treats at the reception desk. Google has even written "dog friendliness" in its Code of Conduct!

In search of an office big enough for its staff and their dogs, Kurgo, a Massachusetts-based company that makes dog travel gear, took over its own 4,000-square-foot warehouse to create a doggie haven in 2015! Kurgo co-founder Gordie Spater explains that "our dogs have jobs too! They test our products, give us ideas for new ones and even model for our advertising/marketing materials."

Our ideal workplace would have to be Salesforce - a cloud computing company - whose pet policy named "Puppyforce" allows employees to reserve desks in a soundproof, dog-friendly room that features water bowls, padded cages and dog beds. Employees also get discounts on pet insurance, vet house calls, pet supplies and dog walking!

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