Sit, Heel, Type on Take-Your-Dog-to-Work Day

You may have some unusual colleagues in the office on Friday, June 26: the 17th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Pet Sitters International created the event 17 years ago “to celebrate the great companions dogs make and promote their adoption.” Also, the organization asks, “Whoever heard of working like a cat?”

The event encourages employers to experience the joys of pets in the workplace for one day to support their local pet community; it also accommodates lovers of cats and other pets.

Workplaces can participate in many ways:

Education.  PSI’s day is about having fun, but more important is raising awareness for homeless dogs. Use the day as a way to educate employees of your company about local homeless pets and the health benefits of pet ownership and show them you understand the important role pets play in their lives. You can also consider inviting a PSI member professional sitter to speak to employees.

Fundraising.  Host a fundraiser and designate the proceeds from your event to a local animal charity, shelter or rescue group. Whether you can bring pets into your workplace or not, anyone can host a fundraiser. Participating businesses have in the past planned silent auctions and hosted dog/owner look-a-like contests, among other activities.

Adopt-a-thon.   Arrange for a few pets from a local shelter or rescue group to visit your business and meet employees. Depending upon your workplace, you may also be able to host an adoption fair open to the public onsite or post adoptable pets on your company’s website or social media sites.

Pet fair.  Invite local pet professionals to speak about their businesses or host an information session for your workplace. Consider inviting pet sitters, trainers, groomers, veterinarians and other pet professionals. You can also ask vendors to donate products or gift certificates for a raffle or silent auction. Many participants have brought in pet first-aid instructors, local veterinarians or professional sitters to host an information session during lunch.

Photo session.  Have a photographer come in and take photos of your special event. Consider giving each participant a copy of a photo with his or her pet. You can also have employees bring in photos of their dogs for a photo contest. Share photos from your event online (event photos can be hashtagged #takeyourdog).

Canine contests. Hold fun contests, such as best trick or friendliest canine co-worker.