Did you know that Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWDay) is celebrated every June? That’s right, started by Pet Sitters International, this day is meant to support pets in communities by allowing employers to experience the joy of having companion animals in the workplace. More about TYDTWDay is available from the Pet Sitters International website.
Of course, TYDTWDay in 2020 might look different for many of us who are recently unemployed or working remotely. We’ll talk about how to make this day fun for you and your canine pal too! But here’s what you need to know if you are still going into work and would like to take your dog with you on June 26!
Get your employer’s blessing: Dogs are not appropriate in all workplaces! Make sure your direct supervisor and your HR department are okay with you bringing your dog to the office.
Manners matter: Neither workplaces nor pets will benefit from a bunch of wild dogs running around, barking, eliminating where they shouldn’t, or being destructive. If you know your dog has behavior issues with strangers or trouble settling in unfamiliar places, this is not the time to work on those things! Call in a certified training and behavior specialist to help now, with the goal of taking your dog to work next year.
Our friends at The Inquisitive Canine have a couple helpful blog posts on the subject of bringing your dog to work:
- Take Your Dog to Work, Make Them Employee of the Month
- Take Your Dog to Work Begins With Planning Ahead
For those of us who are home during the coronavirus pandemic, there are still ways to honor TYDTWDay! We would like to encourage you all to create a “work day” for your adventurous canine! Scheduling your dog’s day is always a good idea, and this is a great way to get started. As you’re making your dog’s work schedule, focus on activities that are a mix of interactive (between you and the dog) versus those the dog will do independent of any humans. Here’s how your dog’s day might look:
- After your breakfast: Five-minute obedience “workout” (you can think of this as a “homeschooling” session of sorts), where you put your dog through their paces. You might do a human/canine circuit training activity, where you cue your dog to perform a behavior while you do an exercise: your dog sits and stays while you do pushups, for example.
- Your first virtual meeting of the day: Provide your dog with a frozen Kong, food-filled toy, or snuffle mat, or take whatever portion of their breakfast you didn’t use to reward them for the obedience routine, and scatter it into your yard so they can play “Find It.”
- Lunch: This is a great time to put on your dog’s harness and go for a walk around the neighborhood. You can decide if it’s a sniffing break (which is more of a break for you) or a chance to work on obedience and adventuring skills outdoors.
- Afternoon meeting: This is a great time to practice rewarding your dog for calm, quiet behavior. You can choose another interactive toy for your dog to play with independently, or let them settle in for a well-earned “meeting” (AKA a nap) with their crate or their bed (or yours!).
- End-of-day reward: You’ve both earned it! It’s time to settle in to enjoy your favorite bonding activity with your dog. Maybe that’s a cuddle in your lap for your dog and a glass of wine for you, or maybe it’s a fun game of fetch or tug. This is another great time to head out for adventure if you’ve got the energy!
While Take Your Dog to Work Day might not look quite the same as it has in past years, it’s still a fun reminder of the important place dogs have in our world and our hearts. We hope you take a moment to appreciate your adventurous canine in whatever way makes sense for you. Happy working (and adventuring)!