Thousands of businesses from across the UK will welcome their dog loving employees into the workplace along with their loyal (and well-behaved!) four-legged companions.
As well as promoting the benefits of bringing dogs into safe work environments, the goal of the event is to raise money for animal welfare.
The two official charities for 2017 are All Dogs Matter, which rescues and rehomes hundreds of dogs each year in the UK and Animals Asia, a charity foundation that saves dogs and cats from the corrupt meat trade in China and Vietnam.
This year’s event has seen a number of different organisations support the initiative – including pet product businesses, marketing agencies, a private jet company, a housing association and even a regional police force.
Celebrities have got involved too, with the likes of Ricky Gervais and ITV’s Loose Women tweeting their support.
Since its conception four years ago, Bring Your Dog To Work Day has become a regular staple in the national calendar. Recent figures support this thinking, with employment website Reed.co.uk estimating that 8% of employees in Britain have permission to bring their dogs to work.
Plus, an American study published in 2012 summarised that dogs at work may make a positive difference by reducing stress levels in staff and increasing their levels of job satisfaction.
This a view shared by the company Vets4Pets.
“At Vets4Pets we encourage colleagues to bring their dogs to work as there are many benefits to having pets in the workplace,” explains Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets.
“Dogs can help reduce stress levels, keep people active during breaks and can increase productivity and happiness within the work environment.”
It was a ‘no dogs allowed’ work policy – coupled with the benefits of dogs in the workplace – that led to the creation of Bring Your Dog To Work Day by Mark Hirschel and Jo Amit, the co-founders of pet product company HOWND.
“We have always brought our dogs Roxy and Laila to work with us, but when we moved into new offices back in 2014 we discovered that they weren’t allowed in the premises,” explains Jo Amit.
“This inspired us to create an event that publicised why dogs can make a positive difference in safe work environments, in attempt to encourage companies across the UK to adopt dog friendly policies.”
For this year’s event – HOWND published ‘7 HR Guidelines’ after being asked for advice from a number of office-based organisations:
Written consent should be obtained from every office employee ahead of Bring Your Dog to Work Day.
An accurate record of all dogs in the workplace should be kept.
Each dog coming to the workplace should be kept on a leash while walking in the building as well as outside, and should have an identity tag with the owner’s contact details.
Dogs must be clean and well-groomed ahead of their day at work.
Dogs should be social – i.e. good natured and comfortable around dogs and people.
Each participating employee should bring a ‘Dog Packed Lunch’ – including treats, toys, a lead, water bowl and food.
Each participating employee should also bring appropriate bedding for their dog – i.e. dog basket, mat or rug. Just so the working day is as comfortable as possible!
“We’re overwhelmed with how successful Bring Your Dog To Work Day has become. It’s been amazing to see how many people have posted their dogs at work across all social media in 2014, 2015 and 2016,” adds Jo.
“Most importantly, it’s fantastic to raise money for All Dogs Matter and Animals Asia. It looks like this year’s event will prove even more popular, building on the momentum of 2016.”