In 1999, Pet Sitters International figured out a fun way to bring your furry best friend to work, while raising awareness for adoptable dogs across the nation. Slated for this Friday, June 22nd, Take Your Dog To Work Day has now expanded to the full week leading up to the event (June 18-22). TYDTWDay has been going strong for over ten years and Best Bully Sticks wants to help you plan a successful dog-friendly day at work. Even if you can’t plan an event for this week, use these tips to plan your own TYDTWDay!
The Checklist of Approval
Before you load up Fido for a full day’s work at the office, you’ll need to go through the proper channels of approval to make sure TYDTWDay is even welcome. You’ll need to ask:
1. Human Resources: Start with HR to see if there is a TYDTWD event being planned already or if there might be restrictions against it. If not, show HR the takeyourdog.com website to see if there might be any objections to this type of event. If not, ask HR the right channels you would have to go through to begin approving this type of event. (Your BOSS!)
2. Your Boss: Each boss is different, but one thing all bosses have in common are the need for contingency plans. You’ll want to be fully prepared when asking your boss about a TYDTWD event. Your boss will be impressed and ready to make a decision. Remember; think about the questions your boss might ask about dogs being in the office. Consider these things:
Plan ahead what you will say. Have you ever had to give a presentation at work? Put TYDTWDay in the same context.
Consider contingency plans. Where will the dogs stay? Where will the dogs eat? Where will the dogs go the bathroom? What if dogs are aggressive? Think of all of these things and have ready answers for your boss.
Suggest having a pet sitter or designated pet handler there for the day. This can be a hired professional, or just a dog-friendly and eager intern! Show your boss this can be a great way to allow work to happen because the dog’s needs are being taken care of.
Inspire your boss with these statistics:
-55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment
-50 million believe having pets in the workplace helps co-workers get along better
-38 million believe having pets in the workplace creates a more productive work environment
-37 million believe having pets in the workplace helps improve the relationship between managers and their employees
If your boss is onboard: Have the TYDTWDay Action Pack & Registration Information ready!
3. Your Co-Workers: Once your have “administrational” okay, talk to your coworkers (all of them) and get their thoughts on TYDTWDay. You’ll want to be just as prepared when you talk with your co-workers because they may not be “dog people” or have allergies, or a myriad of other concerns. That’s where planning for the event comes in. TYDTWDay is about raising awareness for homeless and adoptable dogs. Hopefully your co-workers will be onboard for this great cause.
Planning & Rules
Once you’ve had all the appropriate people sign off on your TYDTWDay event, start planning! Set the date and set boundaries. Setting boundaries is important because everybody needs to be on the same page for your TYDTWDay to go off without a hitch. Have open communication lines at all times and plan these things:
Puppy Proofing: Puppy proofing means removing all opportunities for a mishap! Removing poisonous plants, making office chemicals (like permanent markers or printer toner) inaccessible, and hiding electrical cords are all proper steps to take. Any other questionable items should be placed out of the way just in case.
Puppy Prep: Make sure your pup is clean and nice smelling before his big day at the office. Also, if your dog is overly aggressive, shy or prone to any medical problems, such as seizures it might be a good idea to leave your pup at home.
Puppy Provisions: Making your office environment as much like your home is important. Packing your dog’s favorite food and treats, bed, toys (and fresh water of course) will help you dog be more comfortable and prepared for a day at the office. Other good items to have on hand are a leash, disinfectant, a portable kennel or doggy gate, waste bags and paper towels.
Puppy Pooping?!: Make sure you plan feeding and restroom breaks and appropriate times.
Don’t be a Puppy Pusher: It may be a surprise, but some of your coworkers may not like dogs very much. Don’t that person who makes someone feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, dogs can’t break down all boundaries.
Puppy Procedures: There are a few rules that might help your TYDTWDay go more smoothly, one being the “leash rule.” This rule applies to those offices without doors, like cubicles or open work areas. This will help minimize any potential skirmishes. Ask your coworkers for any rule suggestions as well.
Puppy Promotion: Sending a detailed email, or giving a detail information pack to the whole office is a great way to promote and prepare for TYDTWDay. Use these tips, or the tips found on takeyourdog.com.
Events For Your TYDTWDay
The last step of preparing for your TYDTWDay is celebration planning! If your boss and workday allows, do mini events like a costume contest, or a charity raffle! Raise money for a local shelter in your area to promote the theme of the day—adoptions for homeless animals. You can even have a local representative from the shelter you’re supporting come and talk to your office. Remember to take LOTS of photos! Start a big TYDTWDay photo album you add to every year or even set up a photo booth for the employees and their dogs! The possibilities are endless!
Remember, if you can’t plan a TYDTWDay for this Friday, June 22nd, plan one for sometime this summer! You and your office will have fun while raising awareness (and hopefully funds) for homeless animal adoptions!
Show us your photos of your office’s TYDTWDay! Post them to our Facebook page!