Top 5 Pet-Friendly EmployersPublished June 11, 2009
We've all heard about Take Your Child to Work Day. What about your dog? On June 26 a few thousand companies will participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWD), which was created by Pet Sitters International 10 years ago. The event lets companies across the country celebrate dogs and promote adoption of pets from animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. "Last year, more than 1,000 companies registered," says Courtney Klein, a spokesperson with Pet Sitters International (PSI). "However, we know that the registrants only represent a small percentage of actual participants as the American Pet Products Association found that 1 in 5 businesses are currently pet-friendly." But which businesses are the most pet-friendly? Petside.com ranks the top 5 pooch welcoming employers: Top 5 Dog-Friendly Companies 1. At Printing For Less, 15 percent of their 160 workers bring their dogs to work on any given day. "On TYDTWD we have a dog show with an array of different events for the dogs," says Jessica Cooper, marketing manager at the Montana-based commercial color printing company. Dogs can win prizes for best costume and best tricks. The entry fees for the prizes are donated to the local animal shelter. "Our dog-friendly policy helps staff morale, builds camaraderie among employees, aids in creating a more productive work environment, helps stimulate employee creativity, and offers a great social catalyst for relationship development between coworkers," says Cooper. 2. Procter & Gamble's Pet Care division, located in the greater Dayton/Cincinnati area, allows its employees to take their dogs to work everyday. All dogs and workers are greeted each morning by Euka, a Labernese (a cross between a Labrador Retriever and the Bernese Mountain Dog), who holds the title of vice president of K9 Communications. "She was adopted from an assistance program in Quebec," says Kris Parlett, P&G Pet Care spokesperson. "Having a dog or several dogs at work really sets the tone for a relaxed work environment and promotes socialization." On TYDTWD P&G hosts free microchip services for dogs, license renewal amnesty programs for pet owners who have let licenses lapse, and pet adoptions from three local shelters. Every year two to three people wind up adopting a dog. "Once they play with it" says Parlett, "you can see them dialing their spouses on their cell phones, and making dates to pick up the pet later that night." 3. Wonderware, Inc., a software company in Newton, MA, allows dogs on a daily basis. An engineer in development on the COM team says, "My company has a dog-friendly policy, and I bring my dog to work on days when I know I won't have meetings. The dog policy was one of the big incentives for me to take this job; I count it higher than stock options. They also have a very open work-at-home policy, which could be good for new puppies." 4. Diversified Technical Solutions in Parsippany, NJ, a technical recruiting firm, allows dogs everyday because as one company spokesperson says, "Bringing our dogs to work allow for some stress relief when we really need it." 5. Replacements, Ltd. in Greensboro, NC, the world's largest supplier of old and new china, crystal, and silver, sponsored the first TYDTWD 10 years ago. The owner, Bob Page, has been bringing his two dachshunds to work everyday for years and encourages his 560 employees to do the same. Employees are not the only ones benefiting from canine companionship. Replacements, Ltd. invites customers to bring their pets along when they are visiting the showroom or touring the 225,000 square foot facility. Pet Adoptions are Encouraged According to PSI president, Patti Moran, the campaign is carried out every year so that the association's 8,000 members can give back to the communities they serve. "Due to economic factors, shelter's everywhere are reporting increases in dog populations and our goal is to create as many new homes as possible,' says Moran. Rules for Dogs at Work Companies that allow dogs in the office have rules that pet owners and dogs must follow. Liz Palika and Jennifer Fearing of the Humane Society of the United States, co-wrote Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog Friendly Workplaces. The book discusses TYDTWD, and provides suggestions on creating dog-friendly workplaces. For more, check out our tips for sharing office space with pets!