June 23 is the official “Take Your Dog to Work Day.” For me, however, every day is take your dog to work day. I get to work from home, which gives me a lot of flexibility and a lot of time with my fur babies.
Taylor, (left) my female Golden Retriever, spends most of her days fighting me for a spot under my desk. If I get up and come back, there she is. Unfortunately, there’s not enough room for both of us, so she begrudgingly moves, but never too far.
My boys – Jake and Koda, both English Cream Golden Retrievers and brothers from another litter – spend the day downstairs because they just can’t seem to leave their sister alone. They get special time with me at lunch when I take them outside and give them treats.
For many people, myself included, pets are members of the family. We celebrate their birthdays, talk to them, buy them special toys and treats. In return, they give us unconditional love.
But that’s not all! Studies have found that animals have proven to help those with anxiety and loneliness. Many nursing homes and even some hospitals have begun to allow animals to visit. Children with medical and mental health issues such as autism also benefit from pet therapy.
Many libraries and schools are allowing specially trained dogs and their handlers to come in and have children read to them, which not only helps to improve their reading skills, but also reduces social anxiety. And, people aren’t the only ones who benefit. Less loneliness results in less destructive behavior and a better-adjusted pup.
Bringing a dog to work can create a number of challenges. Some people may be allergic, others may have a fear of dogs. There also is the risk of an accident or even legal issues if Fido or Fifi misbehave.
On the flip side, having a dog at the office can help to reduce stress as well as increase camaraderie and social interaction. Having a pet policy that outlines what is or not permitted and clearly states an owner’s responsibilities might be a good idea if you decide to bring your pet to work.
On June 23, some offices will allow their employees to bring their dog to work. I am fortunate, I get to do it every day!
Susan R. Miller is founder of Garton-Miller Media, a full-service, South Florida based public relations firm. Susan is a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience. In addition to public relations, she provides web content writing, press releases, social media, photography and videography. She has two daughters, three golden retrievers and two cats.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.