I’ve been lucky enough to work at pet-friendly jobs for many years, where “take your dog to work day” was an everyday occurrence. When I started, it was a rarity, but now more and more smart companies are realizing the benefits of encouraging their employees to bring dogs to work as they realize all the benefits having a furry friend in your cubical can bring, like  higher employee retention, lower stress, and making the work place a lot more fun! But not all companies have the right environment for every-day dog coworker. That’s where Take Your Dog To Work Day comes in!

First celebrated in 1999, Pet Sitters International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day® (TYDTWDay®) was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. This annual event asks pet lovers to celebrate the humane-canine bond and promote pet adoption by encouraging their employers to support TYDTWDay. Employers are encouraged to open their workplace to employees’ four-legged friends on this one special day.

You can register at www.takeyourdog.com to receive your free downloadable copy of the 2012 TYDTWDay Participant Action Pack. This download contains a sample “dogs at work” policy, tips for planning your event and additional resources to help make your TYDTWDay event a success! Here are  7 Tips TYDTWDay provides:

1) Do an office check

Check with management and co-workers to see if anyone is allergic, afraid of or opposed to you bringing your dog to work for this one special day.

2) Puppy-proof your work space.

Remove poisonous plants, hide electrical cords and wires and secure toxic items such as correction fluid, permanent markers, etc. Any office items in question should be placed out of your dog’s reach.

3) Bathe and groom your dog before its office debut.

Be sure its shots are up-to-date. If your dog appears sick, don’t bring it to the office. Dogs that are aggressive or overly shy should not accompany you to work. Instead, consider bringing a favorite picture of your pooch.

4) Prepare a doggie bag.

Include food, treats, bowls, toys, leash, paper towels, clean-up bags and pet-safe disinfectant (just in case). If you are routinely in and out of your work space, consider bringing a portable kennel for your dog’s comfort and your peace of mind.

5) Plan your pet’s feeding times carefully.

Be sure to choose an appropriate area for your dog to relieve himself afterward.

6) Avoid forcing co-workers to interact with your dog.

Dog lovers will make themselves known. To avoid pet accidents, monitor the amount of treats your pet is being given. Remember that chocolate, candy and other people food should not be shared with dogs.

7) Have an exit strategy.

Although most dogs enjoy TYDTWDay, your pet may not. Should your dog become overly boisterous, agitated or withdrawn, consider taking him or her home. Most companies allow for this on TYDTWDay. Never, under any circumstance, leave your pet alone in a vehicle while you work.