When I first heard Ben and Jerry’s allows employees to bring their dogs to work every day, I couldn’t help but think of Duke the Dairy Delight Dog. Darla, owner of Darla’s Dairy Delight, Home of the Famous Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl, is appalled when Duke, a mangy, smelly, homeless dog decides he has found his home in her place of business. Darla prides herself on keeping an ice cream shop that is so clean you could eat off the floor, so you can imagine her outrage when Duke moves right on in. It is not until an unfortunate mishap with a cleaning machine turns his coat into vanilla-chocolate swirls that Darla comes to her senses and sees Duke for what he really is: A sweet and loving pup, looking for his place in the world. Instead of hurting her business, Duke ends up helping, by drawing people “from miles around to see his spectacular hairdo, and eat Darla’s tasty Vanilla-Chocolate swirls.”
Knowing Duke’s story, I was happy to learn that it is actually Ben and Jerry’s corporate offices that allow dogs. Describing what interviewees might see when they visit the company. Sean Greenwood, public relations spokesperson says, “Momo is there, Jack is in R&D, Allison’s in retail, Scout is brand new. They’re just like your co-workers.” Having man’s best friend accompany you at your workplace certainly has its benefits.
Benefits of dogs at work
A 2016 survey of pet-friendly workplace benefits include reduced stress, improved workplace relationships, greater work-life balance, increased productivity, and decreased guilt over leaving pets at home. That’s why Pet Sitters International created Take Your Dog to Work Day in 1999. PSI wanted to encourage businesses to allow dogs to accompany their owners in the workplace one Friday a year. Their goal was to help dog-less employees see what great companions dogs make and motivate them to consider adopting one of their own after observing the great bond between dog owners and their precious pups. Take Your Dog to Work Day has been embraced by well-known businesses, celebrities, and yes, even the President of the United States. In 2013, President Barack Obama tweeted, “Don’t you wish every day was take your dog to work day?” Today, many businesses have declared just that. Take Google, Etsy, and of course, Ben and Jerry’s for starters.
The trend of taking your dog to work has stuck. The year the day was created, an estimated 300 businesses participated. Since then, the numbers have only grown. Although PSI cannot track the day’s participation rate since companies are not required to register to take part in the day, their tracking tools show involvement goes up each year, as indicated by the thousands of visitors who explore takeyourdog.com each year.
Ready to let Fido accompany you at your workplace? Try it Friday, June 23rd and see how your productivity and mood improve. But first, brush up on some etiquette to help make this day successful.
W ater your sidekick. Make sure you have plenty of water and treats available for your dog. Well-meaning co-workers may be tempted to share their lunch leftovers, so having treats at the ready can help your dog avoid an upset tummy.
O bserve co-worker’s allergies and aversions. Not everyone is a dog-lover, so you may want to keep your dog on a leash so that he doesn’t bother others.
R eel him in. Keeping your dog close to you can help him stay away from potential dangers, such as chemicals and dangerous foods. Read our post, Preventing Accidental Pet Poisoning for tips on avoiding common dangers.
K eep in tune with your dog. Take your dog on regular potty breaks/quick walks, make sure he has a comfy spot to crash, and above all, have fun!
If your company is looking for a more permanent dog-friendly workplace, use the DogsAtWork Guide to help establish a pet-friendly policy to keep employees and office dogs safe and happy!