I’ve long thought that one of the best things about working from my home office (other than no commute) is that I get to be with my feline friends every day. I love taking “kitty cuddle” breaks, and it’s just nice to have some company while I write. Were I to ever hang up my freelance hat for a job outside the home, I think this transition would be difficult for me. Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking, but I believe the cats wouldn’t like it much either.
Dog lovers who work outside the home face a similar situation. True, they do have Take Your Dog to Work Day which is a nice idea, but it’s just one day in June. What if there were companies that let dog lovers bring their canine best friend to their workplace on a regular basis … maybe even every single day? Wouldn’t that be cool? Well, it turns out there are lots of dog-friendly companies where you can do just that!
According to The American Pet Product Manufacturers Association (APPMA), nearly one in five American companies allows pets in the workplace. Many pet-friendly companies also have perks like discounted pet insurance and organized dog walks. Some even allow cats in the workplace, although I’m not sure how many kitties would think that’s a good idea.
If you’re in the market for a new job and think taking Fido to work with you would be pawsome, the website DogFriendly.com lists dog-friendly employers in every state; you can see what pet-friendly companies are in your state here. Below, in alphabetical order, are just a few of the companies known to have pet friendly policies.
Many years ago I worked for an uptight company. At this particular organization, we outsourced most of our marketing communication duties to local firms. Luckily, I had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time in a variety of creative environments. As you might expect, most of these businesses had a relaxed atmosphere and an upbeat feeling, much different from the office where I worked. Visiting those creative firms was a nice break from the strict corporate structure I worked in. There was one specific advertising agency that I gravitated towards more than the rest, however, and they continued to earn our business. For some reason their campaigns were especially fresh, exciting and on target. Not only did I find myself granting them the majority of our business, I also found myself spending more and more time in their offices. I liked being there for many reasons but I have to confess, the main I wanted to hang out there is because I fell in love.
I fell in love with their office dog! As I said, the environment I worked in was tight, but when I walked into their workplace I was greeted by a big, goofy, sweet mutt. Being able to step out of the rigors of my job, being able to pet and love and smell a dog in the middle of the day was like drinking a tall glass of cold water on a scorching hot day. Suddenly I had a better perspective on things; suddenly things didn’t seem so difficult. It was wonderful.
The owner of the advertising agency believed that having a dog in the office improved his employees’ creative output. He was convinced that he had a brighter, happier, healthier organization because of their four-legged mascot. I agreed with him, and longed for a job where I could take my dog to work with me.
Having pets in the workplace can give an office a more relaxed and friendlier atmosphere. According to the American Pet Products Association, approximately 17% of U.S. businesses allow employees to bring their pets, usually dogs, to work daily. CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company is one of them. At CANIDAE, dogs have been known to be among the “executives” sitting in on meetings. I spoke with CANIDAE employees Diane Matsuura, Sarah DeNunzio and Carl Boley, as well as Anne Prinns who operates a dairy equipment repair company called J & A Enterprises, to get their take on dogs in the workplace.
For many employees, having their dog with them at work helps them feel more relaxed, but depending on someone’s workload and responsibilities, it can also create stress if there’s not enough time to properly care for a dog while trying to make sure their work gets done. Sarah prefers to leave her dogs at home because “Having my dog here stresses me out! I constantly worry about them getting along with the other office dogs, and I don’t have time to take them on potty-walks each hour.”
Working at a pet friendly company can give you more time with your four-legged friend, especially in multiple pet households. When I asked Diane what she liked about the pet-friendly policy at CANIDAE, she said “I spend so much time at work that I enjoy being able to bring one of my dogs with me. I can spend more one-on-one time with them which wouldn’t happen at home.” Carl also likes bringing his dog to work because “My buddy gets to hang out with me. Most of the time it is relaxing and a great ground breaker when potential clients come by.”
We all know that dogs are great companions; we enjoy taking them on walks and to the friendly pet stores that allow them. We make a place for our dogs in our homes and in our hearts. Yet there is one part of our lives that most people don’t have a chance to share with their four legged friends, and that is work. Since 1999, Take Your Dog to Work Day has been celebrated each year to honor the human canine bond and to help promote pet adoption from shelters, the humane societies, and rescue organizations.
For one special day of the year, employers are welcoming their employees’ canine friends. Thousands of businesses all over the world are being invited to “Go Furry” to support homeless pets. You know how special your dog is to you; help make sure that other dogs get the chance to be special to someone too. Visit the official site for TYDTW Day to download your 2010 action pack which is filled with a ton of information about Take Your Dog to Work Day, including information for your employer, hosting and celebration ideas, and training tips to make sure your dog puts his best foot forward in the workplace. You will also find pet supply savings included with your pack.
Pet Sitters International sponsors Take Your Dog to Work Day with the goal to make every pet a wanted one, with a professional pet sitter to care for it. PSI has developed and grown TYDTW Day each year and looks forward to many more years during which pets will invade the workplace for one day, in order to promote pet adoption. There are animals that need loving homes every single day of the year, but Take Your Dog to Work Day is one day each year when this need is brought to the attention of thousands of people worldwide.
Many employers may be wondering why they would want to have their business overrun by dogs for a whole day. The idea is to support your employees, promote pet adoption and by the way, pets in the workplace boost morale, productivity and sales! For employers who just can’t handle letting their business go to the dogs for one day, you can still participate by having employees bring in photos of their pet and organizing a fundraiser to benefit your local shelter.
Many businesses have an open door pet policy for employees, including CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods‘ headquarters in California. The CANIDAE employees are encouraged to bring their dogs to work as often as they like, and lapdogs frequently “sit in” on meetings. Think about the last time you visited a small “Mom and Pop” store and were thrilled to see a fluffy cat sitting on the counter, or a large dog with a wagging tail lying under the counter. These pets are taken to work every day and they are as much a part of the business as the employees. Kudos to these pet lovers, they are special. Now it’s time to spread the word.
As a person who works at home, I can tell you that my dogs are wonderful companions and if I had to work outside the home I would miss them tremendously. While at times it is a hassle to have to unwind my laptop power cord from a paw before I can set it aside to get up, there is nothing like a warm fuzzy dog snoring on my feet to make me feel content and productive. Besides, my dogs give me a great excuse to take a break, get some fresh air and a bit of exercise by taking them for a mid afternoon walk.
Pets add so much love and laughter to our lives, shouldn’t we do all we can to make sure that every cat and dog has a loving home with a responsible pet owner who will pamper and spoil them? Participate in TYDTW Day 2010, and help animals find loving homes.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.