How often do you catch yourself watching your dog wishing you could join the pack and leave the worries and stress of work behind? Who isn’t a bit jealous of the endless naps and spontaneous ball playing! Well, for one day every year, the Friday after Father’s Day, it’s Take Your Dog to Work Day® and the normal 9 to 5 becomes K-9 to 5. Time to bring them into your world.


If you’ve ever had the pleasure of bringing your dog to work with you – maybe on the weekends – you know the joy of having your furry companion with you. Your mood is more upbeat, and they relish the extra bonding time, even if it means just napping at your feet. Plus, your dog doesn’t have to lay in a quiet house wondering where you are … and why you aren't there lavishing them with your undivided attention.

Take Your Dog to Work Day® was founded in 1999 by Pet Sitters International (PSI) to promote the possibility of pet adoption by showcasing the joy that pet owners have by interacting with their pets. This annual event brings a sense of play to the workplace for the pet parents as well as their co-workers who don’t yet own a pet.


Perhaps it starts with baby steps by asking the owners at your workplace to let you try it for this one day. If it goes over well, maybe you can convince the top dog to expand it to a couple of days each year or one day a month. So, it’s important to make sure this one event goes off well. How can you and the other pet parents prepare? Here are some helpful tips to consider.

  • Do a pre-event survey. Not everyone in your office will welcome the canine companions. They might be allergic or afraid of dogs, or just opposed to the celebration in general. Make sure to touch base with everyone and set up parameters so you can be respectful of their wishes.
  • Scout for harmful elements. You’ll want to make sure the office is free of harmful items such as poisonous plants, toxic cleaning chemicals, electric cords that could be chewed and small items they might choke on. After all, playfulness knows no bounds.
  • Conduct a Fido Fit check. Make sure your dog’s freshly bathed and current on all his shots. Know your dog’s limits – is he good at meeting new dogs, or does he exhibit signs of fear or aggression. If he hasn’t reacted well in the past, it’s probably not the best idea to include him in the celebration. Instead, work with a trainer to get him ready for next year’s celebration.
  • Pack a doggie bag. Take the time to think through all the things you’ll be needing on this day. Pack his favorite blanket or toy to provide comfort, his food/treats/bowls, a walking leash and pick-up baggies and some disinfectant wipes. Prepare for being away from your office at meetings by bringing a baby gate.
  • Integrate your schedule. Plan your dog’s feeding and walking schedule around your work schedule to minimize the disruption to your work productivity. Scope out a walking area that is agreeable for everyone, especially management.
  • Respect your co-workers. If you’re an over-the-moon pet parent, it’s easy to think that everyone will love your dog just as much as you and want to join in the belly rubs. But that is probably not realistic. Take the rose-colored glasses off and watch for their cues. If they approach and invite interaction, fine; but don’t push your dog on others.
  • Educate the non-dog owners. You’ll want to set some boundaries as far as giving treats to the dogs. It’s especially important to educate those that don’t own dogs as to what foods are okay and which ones are unhealthy or even harmful like candy, chocolate, raisins, etc.
  • Prepare for the worst. Just in case your dog doesn’t warm up to the notion of hanging out with everyone at the office, be prepared with an exit plan. Make sure you can either leave to take him home, or have someone lined up to pick him up and take him home. But never, ever leave your dog in the car while you continue to work.

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