A woman sitting with a laptop in her lap on the couch with her dog sitting next to her.

The office isn’t what it used to be. Thanks to technology and current events, workplaces are sprouting up inside homes, coffee shops, at cabins, and just about anywhere a Wi-Fi signal can be found. But whether you work in a traditional office environment or you meet coworkers virtually every day, one thing hasn’t changed: your love of dogs.

What better way to show it than by celebrating National Take Your Dog to Work Day on Friday, June 26, whether you’re back in the office building or working at home?

The benefits of canine coworkers

There are a lot of advantages to having your dog with you as you work (as if you need convincing). Dogs help reduce stress when the workload builds up. They provide more opportunities for employees to interact socially. Just consider these survey results from the American Association of Pet Product Manufacturers:

  • 46 million Americans who take their pets to work say they work longer hours
  • 53 million Americans believe pets at work help reduce absenteeism
  • 55 million Americans feel pets in the workplace make for a more creative environment
  • 50 million Americans believe pets at work help workers get along better

Another study conducted by Nationwide and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute found that 90 percent of workers at pet-friendly-companies were fully connected, engaged and willing to recommend their employer to others. By comparison, less than 65 percent of employees at non-pet-friendly companies felt the same way.

Maybe that’s why more and more companies like Amazon, Etsy and Google have instituted pet-friendly workplace policies. When the workplace is open, anyway.

Celebrate at the worksite

If you have a regular workplace you visit each day, here are some steps to help make Take Your Dog to Work Day a success:

  • Know your dog: If your dog is fearful, potentially aggressive or an obsessive barker, this probably isn’t the right holiday for your pup. He or she will probably be less stressed at home.
  • Obtain management approval: Present a plan that explains how employees will benefit, how the day will be managed, and how you’ll make sure no property is damaged. Make sure to address what you’ll do for employees who are allergic to pet dander or have a fear of dogs.
  • Start with health safety: Dogs should be current on their vaccinations and free of external parasites.
  • Dog-proof the office: Hide any wires or cords that can be chewed and put toxic plants out of reach.
  • Designate an outdoor potty area: Provide waste bags, if needed.
  • Pack the essentials: This may include dog beds, food and water bowls, baby gates and toys to keep dogs occupied.
  • Plan fun events for the day: Maybe it’s a doggy parade, a dog play session in a fenced-in area or a campaign where you vote for the best canine coworker.

Celebrate virtually

Even if you work from home, you can still participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Are you calling in for a Zoom meeting? Show off your fur baby by changing the background into a photo of your dog. Create a game where employees have to guess which of their coworkers owns each dog. Or organize a Zoom “yappy hour” so employees can toast their canine buddies.

Since people who telecommute often don’t have traditional downtimes, block out a section of your day where you can take a break and get some one-on-one time with your favorite four-legged coworker, whether it’s a stroll outdoors or a nap on the porch. You’ve both worked hard; you deserve it.

The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.