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Dogs have been man’s best friend far back into pre-history when they became domesticated by choosing to live and work alongside mankind. From the very beginning, they worked alongside us, hunting and tracking and even keeping us safe at night by growling and barking when danger reared its ugly head.

In modern day, this relationship has been forgotten, and the poor pooch is now left to sit at home while we go about our daily business. Take Your Dog To Work Day is set to change this old policy back again, and bring the happy puppy back into our daily work lives.

History of Take Your Dog To Work Day

Pet Sitters international decided, in 1996, that there were far too many instances of people leaving their animals at home while they went about their workday. These amazing people are dedicated to saving animals from local shelters and humane shelters, and helping them find good homes with people who will love and respect them.

As part of this, they developed Take Your Dog To Work Day as an attempt to help restore puppies to the workplace and help people understand the human-animal bond.

Pets.Com acquired Take Your Dog to Work Day for a while, but that was before it crashed and burned in the dot-com crash. While they were still standing up and promoting the day, it was promoted by their poster dog Ernie, and then followed him with Sandy.

5000 companies were participating in this event by the end of 2003, and it’s just growing more with every single year.

So take the time on Take Your Dog To Work Day to bring your puppy to work and help educate others on the importance of saving these amazing critters from a rescue shelter and the streets.

National Take Your Dog to Work Day Timeline


Patti Moran starts a pet-sitting business 

Tired of the corporate world, Patti Moran starts her own pet-sitting business which would eventually lead her to write the book Pet Sitting for Profit.[1]


Pet Sitters International is Founded 

The parent organization of Take Your Dog to Work Day is founded as a way to unite pet sitters toward industry excellence.[2]


Inaugural Take Your Dog to Work Day 

Started by Pet Sitters International, Take Your Dog to Work Day is created to encourage workplaces and businesses to allow employees to bring their dogs to work.[3]


Adopted Dog Ernie is the Poster Dog 

In its third year, Take Your Dog to Work Day names Ernie, the adopted dog of the president of Pet Sitters International, as the official Poster Dog.[4]


Take Your Dog to Work Day gets a clever slogan 

In a fun and cheeky promotion, the day takes on the theme “Because who ever heard of working like a cat?”[5]

How to celebrate Take Your Dog To Work Day

Well, that leaves us with a bit of a no-brainer now doesn’t it? Take your dog to work with you! This doesn’t mean you leave them in the car to cook in the midmorning sun – the puppy should spend the whole day with you by your side. If your work doesn’t have a Take Your Dog To Work Day organized, you can be the one to spearhead this idea and help bring some doggie goodness to your office. Who knows, you may find some more dog fans in your co-workers, and maybe every day will become Take Your Dog To Work Day!

The dos & don’ts

While many people will be excited about the prospect of Take Your Dog To Work Day, employers may not be very welcoming. Trust the bosses to douse a reason to celebrate with water! For the businesses who aren’t keen on the idea, it’s important to be polite and not ruffle any feathers, your parrot’s excluded.

Participating with a reluctant employer is possible, but you do need to follow a few golden rules.

Reference the company’s policy

It’s management’s job to cross the T’s and dot the I’s, so there’s a chance a policy regarding pets in the workplace already exists. With that in mind, flick through the terms and conditions and see what you can find.

It may say that pets are allowed in the workplace because the company is pet-friendly, in which case, you’re ready to rock and roll.

Broach the topic

Nothing annoys bosses more than workers who decide they’re going to do what they want. Therefore, anybody considering flouting the rules probably will be met with swift resistance. The solution – talk to the top brass in advance. There are nearly a billion owners of cats and dogs around the world, so there’s a good chance they understand the plight of animal-lovers.

Leave it to them and let them get around the red tape and bureaucracy. After all, they created it!

Collect signatures

Not to rock the boat or anything, but it’s important to show the desire for Take Your Dog To Work Day. A handful of colleagues’ signatures will act as undeniable proof that people merely want to show off in front of their pooch’s.

Yes, it’s a tad overzealous, yet this holiday means a lot, and The Man needs to know!

Bring work to your dog

Unlike man’s best friend, your boss hates playing ball. Another reason dogs are worth ten managers. However, there’s no reason to go home with your tail between your legs, not when you can bring the office to your dog.

Let work know you need a personal day and plan on carrying out tasks from the comfort of your living room. That way, everyone’s a winner.

The benefits of Take Your Dog To Work Day

Dogs aren’t the only ones that experience a boost in catharsis. Take Your Dog To Work Day is a powerful way to boost an owner’s mental health, too. Studies show that pets in the workplace reduce stress and anxiety quite dramatically and that this has an effect on productivity.

In short, a dog keeps people calm and focused on the job at hand.

What you should take to work

For those whose employers are happy for dogs to flood the office, it’s vital to think about their wellbeing. You may feel as if a dog is safer and more secure in the workplace than at home alone, yet they still need a few essentials:

  • Water bowl: chasing a career instead of traffic is thirsty work.
  • Leash: walkies at lunchtime, anyone?
  • Bathroom: you don’t want your dog to flush your job down the toilet.

National Take Your Dog to Work Day FAQs

Who started Take Your Dog to Work Day?

Take Your Dog to Work Day is an initiative that was started by the Pet Sitters International organization in 1999.[1]

How to celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day?

Celebrating this day can be observed by coordinating events such as a Fido Fundraiser, a Doggie Adopt-a-thon, pet fairs, photo sessions and more.[2]

When is Take Your Dog to Work Day?

Take Your Dog to Work Day takes place near Father’s Day, on June 24th.[3]

Can I take my dog to work?

Whether you can take your dog to work depends on what the workplace is like and who the employer is. But the best chance of getting permission is on Take Your Dog to Work Day![4]

What are the benefits of Take Your Dog to Work Day?

Taking your dog to work is beneficial for the dog and for the humans! Dogs relieve stress, improve collaboration, promote creativity and enhance work/life balance.[5]

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