The 26th of August is National Dog Day in the USA.
“But I treat my dog like my Valentine every day of the year,” you protest. “Surely this is just a ploy by the greeting card industry!”
Well, perhaps your dog gets the royalty treatment when you’re at home or in the park. But while she may be number one in your heart (placed significantly above your partner and children), society still considers the canine kind to be distinctly secondary to the human race <waves fist furiously at society>.
The fact is, once you button up your shirt and head out the door to the office this Monday, National Dog Day will be over for your beloved hound. Just like every other day.
But what if society has got it all wrong?
Reconsidering the value of dog
Rather than a greeting card industry ploy, National Dog Day was established as a marketing tool with a serious message by pet expert/animal advocate Colleen Paige. You may know Paige from other American holidays such as National Puppy Day (March 23rd), National Mutt Day (July 31st), and the more generalist National Pet Day (April 11th). For Paige, the main message of National Dog Day is directed at potential owners: “consider choosing adoption first.”
However, the holiday is more generally a great opportunity to reconsider how dogs fit into our human-dominated world. Partly for the good of the dogs (how many are put up for adoption because they get too unhappy being left at home all day?) And partly for the good of people.
In fact, humans may have more to gain from dogs than you might think. When we work side by side, we have a lot to offer each other. Why not use this National Dog Day as an excuse to advocate to your boss that she allow dogs in the office?
Bringing your dog to work
It’s good for your boss, after all. In a scientific study at Virginia Commonwealth University, the suspiciously-named Randolph T. Barker and team discovered that employees who bring their dog to work have a more positive perception of their employer. This is due to the organizational support the boss provides to keep the ‘family’ together during the work day.
You might point out that dog presence lowers human stress levels. Barker’s study also showed that workers who bring their dog to work feel less stressed than those who leave pooch at home.
And as anybody who can list among their most regular friends figures such as “Rex’s dad,” “Buddy’s mum,” and “those kids that bring Henio to the park at the weekend” can attest, owning a dog gets people talking (while offering a useful buffer zone).
Having a dog in the office gets colleagues talking to each other, which boosts satisfaction, trust, and interaction within the team. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this creates a stronger sense of office community and an atmosphere of openness and flexibility. Anyway, it’s no bad thing for your boss to have colleagues who communicate with and understand each other.
Finally, having a dog in the office is good for the team’s mental and physical health. You’re more likely to take a walk on your break if you have a dog staring at you with her leash in her mouth. Your colleagues can take their turn walking the dog too if they want to. Most people don’t exercise enough. Walking a dog regularly can help prevent health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and colon and breast cancers.
This fabulous pro-dogs-in-offices infographic lays out the facts so you can study up on your argument ahead of National Dog Day and leave your boss with no reason to say ‘no.’ Because the real National Dog Day should be every day of the year and not just 26th August!
About the author: John Cole writes on behalf of NeoMam Studios. A digital nomad specializing in leadership, digital media, and personal growth topics, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. A native Englishman, he is always on the move, but can most commonly be spotted in the UK, Norway, and the Balkans.