National Take Your Dog to Work Day, celebrated annually on the Friday following Father’s Day (June 23), honors one of our most beloved pets. Wouldn’t you agree, the hardest part of the day is leaving our four-legged fur babies behind as we head to the office? So, when Pet Sitters International (PSI) pitched the idea of taking them with us, how could we resist? Dogs brighten up even the best days so it’s pretty obvious they will up the fun factor at work exponentially. As you run out the door, don’t forget your briefcase and a doggie bag. We’ll see you at the office!
But if you receive the green light from your company, this holiday is a great way to show off your dog to your coworkers. National Take Your Dog to Work Day began in 1999 as a way to celebrate companion dogs and to encourage adoptions. Having your dog at work with you all day may make it a little tough to get all of your tasks done. But having the dog with you may allow you to interact with your coworkers in a whole new way, as the dog is a great icebreaker. Pitch that idea of promoting better communication and teamwork to your boss, and you may convince him or her to allow you to have Fido sitting next to your desk, celebrating this holiday.
History of National Take Your Dog to Work Day
Recognized for the first time in 1999, National Take Your Dog to Work Day celebrates our immense love for dogs. But our adoration of man’s best friend wasn’t the only reason PSI suggested the holiday. National Take Your Dog to Work Day is also intended to cleverly promote pet adoptions. Through these work events, non-pet owners witness the special bond their co-workers have with their pets and, hopefully, find themselves swayed to adopt a new best friend of their own.
Cue the local animal shelters and rescue groups. With almost 4 million dogs entering shelters across the US every year, animal rescue has become an important cause among Americans. Companies care about what their employees care about and, it’s clear, we care about dogs. So, companies benefit by getting involved from a community outreach perspective and from an enhanced employee engagement point of view.
Around 300 businesses hosted a National Take Your Dog to Work Day event in 1999 and the popularity of the holiday has grown steadily since. Twenty years later, over 63 million US households own at least one dog and the pet industry is estimated to have brought in over $70 billion in 2019. Our dogs (and cats) are family and we spoil them as much as any other child. In response, we now see companies who are dog-friendly, not limiting the number of days an employee can bring Buddy to work to just one.
So, raise the WOOF and get ready to host a National Take Your Dog to Work Day event where you work with these great ideas and resources.
National Take Your Dog to Work Day timeline
The domestication of dogs is believed to have started over 15,000 years ago through the critical relationships between dogs and hunters.
The first reference to the saying “man’s best friend” was supposedly made by Frederick, King of Prussia in the mid-1700s while he was speaking of one of his Italian Greyhounds.
Pet Sitter’s International introduces National Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Today, there are over 2 million insured pets in the US with 15% of American companies offering pet insurance as a benefit to their employees.
National Take Your Dog to Work Day FAQs
Why do dogs dislike rain?
Dogs have keen hearing abilities and rain amplifies sounds which can be upsetting to some.
Why does my dog sniff the air?
Dogs sniff the air when they smell something out of place; it could be an unfamiliar person or prey.
How much play time does my dog need?
While it varies by breed, age and other factors, most dogs need 30 – 60 minutes of exercise per day; active breeds need 30 minutes of intense play each day.
National Take Your Dog to Work Day Activities
Support a local shelter
A key aspect of the holiday is the philanthropic efforts to support local animal shelters and rescue dogs through adoption. Ask employees to “pay” to bring their dog to work with money or donated items. Invite a representative from a local shelter to participate in your event to showcase their mission, share success stories and provide details of dogs available for adoption.
Find a New Job
So, your employer isn’t dog-friendly? It may be time to move on to greener dog parks. Well, if not now, definitely the next time you happen to look. These companies were considered dog-friendliest in 2019 where everyday is National Take Your Dog to Work Day!
Learn Over Lunch
If your employer nixes the idea of dogs at work, convince them to participate through animal education. Take Your Cat to Work Day is Monday of this same week (also known as Take Your Pet to Work Week) so all animal lovers would appreciate an engaging discussion about pet care or pet trends over lunch.
5 Ways To Make Your National Take Your Dog To Work Day Event Fabulous
Puppy-proof the office
Put away things dogs may chew or eat that could be harmful to them or damaging to the office (chocolate, poisonous plants, electrical wires or equipment)
Get the “all clear”
Nine percent of the population suffers from cynophobia – the irrational fear of dogs; acknowledge people who are allergic to or afraid of dogs and explain how the day can be fun even for them.
Pack doggie bags
No party is complete without a giveaway; give every pup a doggie bag of treats and small toys
Vote for the top dog
Give out fun prizes for best outfit, coolest dog trick, smallest dog, tallest dog and other fun categories.
Strut Your Mutt
Plan time during your National Take Your Dog to Work Day for a pet parade; a great way for everyone to mingle and strut their mutt.
Why We Love National Take Your Dog to Work Day
Dogs set a paws-itive mood
Many people love their dog more than they love other humans. Dogs provide unconditional love and companionship. They not only brighten our day but lower our blood pressure at the end of a stressful one. Get a head start on reigning in that work stress by taking them to work.
We love having fun at work
People who have fun at work are more likely to stay at work longer, be more devoted to their employer and give their best consistently to their work. This holiday is a win-win!
Dogs enjoy working too
Our relationship with dogs began out of a work relationship - they helped the hunter. Their resume is pretty impressive – herder, protector, guide, service provider, sniff detector. Maybe they should be paid for going into work with you!
National Take Your Dog to Work Day dates