Happy Take Your Dog To Work Day!
It's that time of year again: Take Your Dog To Work Day, an annual event founded by the group Pet Sitters International in 1999.
Take Your Dog To Work Day was created to celebrate the human-animal bond and promote pet adoption, but there are other notable benefits to having animals in the workplace. One recent study out of Virginia Commonwealth University noted a correlation between the presence of an employee's pet and a lowering of stress levels. Times science writer Eryn Brown reported:
The VCU researchers divided 76 employees into three groups: those who brought their dogs to work, those who owned dogs but left them home and those who didn't have pets. For one week, the scientists measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol in samples of the workers' saliva and used surveys to gauge their stress levels four times during a workday.
There was no significant difference in cortisol levels among the study participants. But by the end of the day, the average stress level scores fell about 11% among people who had brought their dogs to work, while they rose as much as 70% for members of the other groups.
So which workplace is the dog-friendliest in the U.S.? Dog magazine The Bark recently bestowed that honor on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," where staffers' dogs roam freely throughout the office, have designated treat stations and lots of comfortable couches on which to nap.
As for Stewart himself, he's a big dog lover. Though his own dogs don't come to work with him, his office is a frequent stop for staffers' dogs -- and he didn't even mind when The Bark's photographer took some shots of dogs sitting on his desk.
One interesting aspect to bringing his dog Ally to work, supervising producer Tim Greenberg notes, is that she "seems to meet an inordinate number of our celebrity guests. I only know any of this because people show me pictures later. She met Betty White and I found out about it when I saw the video on YouTube."
Below, photos from Take Your Dog To Work Day participants:
If you can't wait another year to bring your dog back to the office, The Bark offers these tips to creating a dog-friendly workplace year-round. There's even a book, "Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces," dedicated to the subject. Its authors are dog-training expert Liz Palika and Jennifer Fearing of the Humane Society of the United States, who successfully used the techniques described in it to persuade her own workplace to allow dogs in the office.
Or you could just score a job at one of these already-dog-friendly companies.
-- Lindsay Barnett
First photo: Times reader Sandy's boxer just wants some attention. (Incidentally, you can share your own dog photos with us here.)
Second photo: Parker and Ally, dogs belonging to Daily Show staffers, sit atop Jon Stewart's desk. Credit: KC Bailey / Courtesy of The Bark