Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pets - Every dog has its day

Mark your calendars for June 25, Take Your Dog to Work Day 2010. Since its inception in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, Take Your Dog to Work Day has been one of my favorite days of the year, but not because I get to take my dog to work.

Running a dog daycare, training and fitness facility, I’m one of the lucky ones in that I get to take my dog, or two, or three to work with me every day! It’s one of my favorite days because encouraging my students and clients to take their dogs, also encourages them to properly train and socialize their dogs throughout the year.

To prepare your dog for a successful day at the office, he should be comfortable in new environments and greeting strangers. That means providing lots of practice before the big day by taking him along with you everywhere dogs are welcome such as to parks, dog-friendly restaurants with outdoor seating and pet stores.

The most pet-friendly place on the planet that most people often forget about is the veterinarian’s office. Unfortunately we only take our pets there when they’re sick or need their yearly vaccinations; however, your pet is always welcome there! Stop in sometime just to say hello and allow the staff to pet your dog and give him a treat. It would be a welcome surprise for both them and your pet! When you’re out and about, teach your dog to sit while being petted rather than jumping up on the greeters. This will be especially important when you take him or her to the office. Good manners will go a long way and your boss and co-workers might even invite him back again.

If your co-workers bring their dogs to work too, make sure your dog and the others are dog-friendly before allowing any interactions. The last thing you’d want to do is have a public dog fight! That would be a sure-fire way to put the kibosh on next year’s event! If all the dogs are friendly and have been well-socialized, interactions should be done on leash, fully supervised, kept short and sweet (5-10 minutes at a time) and ended on a positive note. Calling your dog back to you and giving him a reward for coming when called is a great way to end a short play session.

According to a survey of working adults over the age of 18 conducted by The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, nearly one in five U.S. companies allows pets in the workplace. If your workplace isn’t among them and you’d like it to be, here are some other findings disclosed by the survey:

Fifty-five million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment. •Fifty-three million believe having pets in the workplace decreases absenteeism. • Fifty-million believe having pets there helps co-workers get along better.

• Thirty-eight million believe having pets in the workplace creates a more productive work environment.
• Thirty-two million believe having pets in the workplace decreases smoking there. • Thirty-seven million believe having pets in the workplace helps improve the relationship between managers and their employees.

And, 46 million people who bring their pets to the workplace work longer hours. One thing is certain, if your company allows its employees to participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day this year, I bet there won’t be an empty desk to be found June 25!


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