The Surprising Benefits of Taking Your Dog to Work

June 12, 2023
The Surprising Benefits of Taking Your Dog to Work

Pet owners know the joy that comes from walking in the door at the end of everyday, and being greeted by our loving companions. From their wet nosed kisses to their wildly wagging tails…dogs, cats and pets of all shapes and sizes have a way of sharing their love every time you walk in the door.

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Now imagine, being able to take that love and comfort with you to the office!

June 23 is National Take Your Dog to Work Day. It’s a chance to not only share your dog with your co-workers, but also to see what kind of impact your pet pal could have on your productivity and even your mental health!

What is Take Your Dog to Work Day?

This national holiday occurs annually on the Friday after Father’s Day. It began in 1999 by Pet Sitters International to celebrate dogs and to encourage their possible adoption. Around the nation, offices are seeing the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace. As policies have opened up for pets and pet owners to be side by side in the office, this holiday has also grown in popularity. In some offices, like ours at Animal Clinic of Woodruff, everyday is Take Your Pet to Work Day!

While we know that taking our dog to work is great for both dog and owner, there are some actual benefits (and emerging scientific data) to back up those feelings! Let’s dive into a few of them.

Dogs Help Identify (and Relieve) Feelings of Stress!

Recent studies, such as the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, show that employees who brought their dogs to the office had lower levels of stress than those who did not have a dog nearby during their workday. Simply petting a dog can reduce our human stress hormones, while increasing the hormones that help us feel good, even promoting a sense of “bonding.”

In addition to helping us feel more calm in the workplace, another recent study by scientists at Queen's University Belfast, shows that dogs can actually smell when we are stressed. Dogs can pick up on this stress through our sweat and breath. And the study shows they can identify stress with greater than 90% accuracy. That’s more evidence that dog’s have a “nose for our needs” more than we might realize!

Walk Break = Creativity Boost

The occasional walk or potty breaks that your dog may need throughout the day may actually increase your creativity! When we go outside, we feel more relaxed. This creates more space to think, create, and communicate more effectively. Being playful with your pet can also fuel your creative juices! These mental breaks and creative opportunities can help you find creative solutions, or even inspiration for your daily work.

These breaks may also increase your communication opportunities with your co-workers. On any given walk, you’ll likely bump into employees who will want to meet and pet your dog. This can spark conversations and further increase your connections with your colleagues!

It’s Good for Fido Too

On a normal day when you have to leave your dog at home, all of that time away can take a toll on your pup. Dogs are social animals, and they want to interact with you. They crave attention, exercise, lots of love (not to mention potty breaks, healthy foods, and regular veterinary visits)!

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However, when your dog is with you in the workplace, it’s good for you both. More time together means you don’t have to run home to take the dog out or leave work early for feeding time. This means you can spend more time actually working in the workplace! (A bonus for your employer!)

Productivity Boost

When you combine the factors of less stress, more communication with your coworkers, increased opportunities for creativity, and more time in the workplace working (with Fido by your side) — this creates an opportunity for increased productivity.

In sum, the more time you can spend with your dog during the day, the better for you both! So consider bringing man’s best friend to the next Take Your Dog to Work Day (and beyond)! We’re sure it will create a host of positive benefits for you both!

In the meantime, consider giving your dog the gift of a regular checkup at Animal Clinic of Woodruff. Give our friendly team a call to schedule your pet pal’s next appointment.

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  1. International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Preliminary investigation of employee's dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions
  2. Queen's University, Dogs can discriminate between human baseline and psychological stress condition odours

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