Bring Your Dog To Work Day has fast become one of the best days out for dogs, growing in pupularity each year since its launch six years ago. The good news is the nation’s favourite day out for dogs is happening this coming Friday, 21st June – and it’s not too late to join in the fun!
Unsurprisingly, as a nation of dog lovers, we have really embraced this pawsome day as companies up and down the country welcome dogs into the workforce. Not only is it a great fun day out for dogs, their owners and co-workers, Bring Your Dog to Work Day also raises thousands of pounds every year for animal welfare charities and awareness to events like, National Pet Month.
Dog loving celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Jeremy Clarkson, Lorraine Kelly, the Loose Women team and many other high-profile celebrities join in each year posting pictures of themselves with their precious pooches on social media using the hashtag #bringyourdogtoworkday. Last year Disney even put together an adorable montage of all their famous doggy movies that they posted on Twitter, in celebration of the big day.
It’s not just celebrities that post pictures of their dogs at work, the hashtag #bringyourdogtoworkday always trends on Twitter with thousands of people posting pictures of their dogs ‘helping out’ at work. The @BringDog2WorkUK feed is always packed with pawsome pictures of dogs who have donated and signed up to the Bring Your Dog To Work Day ‘Hall of Fame’.
Bring Your Dog To Work Day was started to encourage workplaces to become more dog friendly and to raise awareness and funds for animal awareness charities. This year Bring Your Dog To Work Day is raising funds for All Dogs Matter and Animals Asia. Each year well known brands get involved and companies can easily sign up as sponsors on the Bring Your Dog To Work Day website by donating a minimum of £100.
The organisers also encourage sponsoring businesses to raise funds for their chosen animal welfare causes, too.
Jo Amit, co-owner of ethical pet care brand HOWND and co-founder of national Bring Your Dog To Work Day – says: “Taking a dog to the office can be very enriching for dogs as well as the staff, it’s great for boosting morale and team building. We’re so happy that canine co-working is taking off as more businesses in UK are becoming dog friendly. It’s a fantastic perk and a ‘winwin’ for everyone, dog owners don’t have to leave their dog at home all day or pay for dog sitters. There are well documented mental health benefits from having a well-behaved dog around, I mean who wouldn’t be happy having their precious pooch beside them all day. Having dogs in the office increases sociability as well. Our dogs Roxy and Laila come to the office with us every day and we often walk on our lunch break with the other dog owners in the building. It just creates a lovely atmosphere generally”.
One company that has embraced office dogs is Pets At Home, the UK’s largest pet retailer, who positively encourage staff to bring dogs to work. The company has even installed a dedicated pet kitchen in its head office where staff can prepare and store food and there is also a cleverly designed enclosed outside ‘play’ area for dogs.
The company makes sure having dogs in the office works by having guidelines and rules that everyone sticks to.
Fish4Dogs, the growing premium food and dog treat company is another dog friendly company that encourages dogs in the office. They are great supporters of Bring Your Dog To Work Day and like Pets at Home has a dog-friendly ethos where dogs are an integral part of the ‘workforce’.
All three companies carefully thought through the impact of having dogs in the office and make sure that their staff are on board with company guidelines and rules to ensure that their ‘dog friendly’ offices are safe, functional and fun for both humans and pooches.
Jo Little of Fish4Dogs says: “On average there are 12 dogs working in the Fish4Dogs office, who are the regular ‘staff’ who go in everyday – but when more people are in, the number can increase to 20, which creates a real buzz and works if everyone is prepared”.
“We’re proud of our dog-friendly ethos at Fish4Dogs. For us it’s a massive part of who we are as a business and contributes to the culture and atmosphere – hectic, but relaxed – that we thrive in”, continues Jo Little.
Whether it is just for one day a year or every day, having a dog at work can help create a calm, relaxed, happy atmosphere and more companies are letting dog owners bring their dogs into the office every day. “More dogs than ever are accompanying their owners to work throughout the year, and we hope that Bring Your Dog To Work Day has contributed in some way to the growing trend for dogs at work. It is not difficult to bring a dog to work but of course there are some environments where it would not be a good idea to have a dog around, but many work places can easily adjust to having a dog on the staff”, says Jo Amit.
From one-man bands, to large corporates, companies, schools, local fire stations, household brands and other organisations are sponsoring the event, with many companies donating prizes now worth over £1000 to the annual ‘Dog With A Job’ mega prize draw competition.
“It doesn’t matter how you define having a dog in the work place, from homeworking to taking your dog on the daily commute, there are so many ways a dog can go to work. The most important thing is that it is safe for both dogs and all staff. Last year we had dogs helping out in BBC TV and radio, and ITV television studios, large corporations, and a furry helper at Wimbledon tennis club, and a very good boy who helped out with chores at his home cleaning the plates in the family dishwasher!”, says Jo.
Jo, the co-founder of Bring Your Dog To Work Day, who also runs HOWND – together with her business partner Mark Hirschel – the multi-award winning ethical pet care company says: “It’s so exciting to see how this annual event has captured the imagination of dog owners and companies and it is growing in popularity every year. It’s fantastic that so many companies have come on board and we’re proud to be involved in something that is raising funds for animal welfare charities but is also bringing a lot of fun and laughter to the workplace.”
For more information go to www.bringyourdogtoworkday.co.uk
By Caroline Ratner