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Take Your Dog to Work Day: What is it and how can you celebrate?

Woman showing her dog to a colleague on Take Your Dog to Work Day
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Take Your Dog to Work Day is one of the annual highlights on the calendar for most of us pet parents and as luck would have it, that magical time of year when we get to welcome our four-legged friends back into the office is almost here once again.  

There’s no denying that one of the hardest things for those of us who work outside of the home is having to say goodbye to our canine companions each morning, but on this precious one day in June we get to strap our beloved bundles of fur into the best dog harness and have them walk with us through our workplace doors. 

Now, while not all organizations will allow you to bring your canine companion into the office, the event is designed to encourage employers to experience the joy of having pets in the workplace, so if your place of work isn’t already on board, why not have a quiet word with your boss and see if you can get your office to join in the fun.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about Take Your Dog to Work Day, including more about the history of this special day, when it is and what you and your workplace can do to celebrate. 

What is Take Your Dog to Work Day?

Take Your Dog to Work Day was created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International (PSI) as a way of celebrating what wonderful companions our canine friends make and to promote their adoptions. 

PSI feel that by bringing our beloved bundles of fur into the workplace, not only can we lift the energy levels of our offices and infuse them with joy, but it also gives our non pet parent colleagues a chance to experience what it would be like to have a dog around.

Take Your Dog to Work Day is actually part of the much bigger Take Your Pet to Work Week, which is also run by PSI and features a Take Your Cat to Work Day that falls just before the doggy version. 

When is Take Your Dog to Work Day?

Take Your Dog to Work Day is an annual event that is always celebrated on the Friday following Father’s Day, which this year is Friday the 24th of June. 

Is it okay to bring your dog to work?

Some companies may be very relaxed about dogs in the workplace, while others, such as hospitals and science labs, may have quite strict guidelines in place for health and safety reasons. It’s important that you check with your workplace to see if they have a ‘dogs at work’ policy before you bring your canine companion in with you. 

What to do on Take Your Dog to Work Day

Woman petting her dog lying beside her desk in the office

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are so many wonderful ways that you can make Take Your Dog to Work Day a truly special and memorable occasion that your colleagues won’t soon forget. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Have a pet-care lunch and learn session

Why not invite a professional pet sitter, dog trainer, animal behaviorist or veterinarian into your office to deliver a pet-care presentation? You might like to focus on doggy first aid, grooming tips, or health and nutrition advice.

2. Host a Fido fundraiser

Whether it’s a silent auction or a cutest canine competition, you can use the day to raise vital funds that you can then donate to a local shelter or rescue group to help them continue to provide assistance to pups in need. 

3. Put together a canine contest

Spend the lunch hour getting all the pups in your office to compete in a variety of events, with the winner being named top dog. You could do things like ‘best trick’ and ‘best outfit’, get owners and their dogs to form a team and complete a scavenger hunt together or put all those canines head-to-head on an agility course.

4. Plan a doggy-adopt-a-thon

If a lot of your colleagues are pet-free, why not get your local animal shelter to bring in a few dogs in need of loving homes and see if anyone in your office might be keen to adopt one. Once they see those adorable faces we have a feeling they’ll be hard pressed to say no.

5. Offer a photo session

Often pet parents are the ones behind the lens taking the photos of their canine companion, but they may not have many photos of them and their dog together. You could set up a photo booth in your office (perhaps outdoors if the weather is nice and you have the space) and offer to take special snaps of people and their pets to commemorate the day. 

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.