Image: Public Domain Pictures

Is there anything worse than the daily dose of puppy-dog eyes as you close the front door and leave for the office? This Friday, June 22, you get the chance to load your puppy pal into the car and head to your daily grind together. It’s International Take Your Dog to Work Day!

Take Your Dog to Work Day commenced in 1999 when Pet Sitters International decided that there were far too many instances of people leaving their pets at home when they went to work. They started the day in an attempt to restore puppies to the workplace and help people understand the human-animal bond, as well as encourage adoptions and local animal shelter support. 

Marycke Ackhurst from Hill’s Pet Nutrition says that there’s research as to why having a dog in the home is so beneficial – so why not extend this to the workplace? “Having a pup roaming the halls boosts staff morale, brings a sense of calmness to tense and anxious situations and can help to lower stress levels.”

The important thing to remember is that you need to be prepared correctly to host your canine companion. Ackhurst provides some pointers:

  • Your dog may be your superhero, but not everyone will feel the same way.  Make sure that your colleagues don’t mind your dog visiting the office. 
  • When your dog is included in social activities with other dogs and people they need to understand at least the basic commands – sit, come and stay should come naturally to them to avoid any chaotic situations. 
  • Make sure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date – for their well-being and the dogs around them.
  • Your dog should feel comfortable in his new environment – you can do this by taking some of his belongings with to the office for example his bed and a few toys.  This will provide a safe, comfortable and familiar sleeping area and his toys will help to keep him entertained.  Have a back-up plan should you suddenly have to leave the office or go into a meeting.  Someone that your dog trusts should be on standby to care for him while you are busy.
  • Of course access to fresh water, his or her regular meals and bathroom breaks go without saying.

Ackhurst says that if you’re considering taking your dog to work then they should ideally be social happy dogs that love people. “The experience should be as enjoyable for them as it is for you. If you have a dog that's very energetic and enjoys being outside, going to the office may not be fun for him or her.”

Hill’s will have a very special visitor of their own on #TakeYourDogToWorkDay, as their office 'regular', Daisy, will be doing her rounds.  She will have her very own Hill’s Facebook page takeover, sharing her fun adventures throughout the day. Tune in to the Facebook page – you won't want to miss it.

- Hills Pet ZA