Every year on the Friday after Father’s Day, we dog lovers celebrate Take Your Dog To Work Day. In 2020, that falls on June 26th. But most years, we don’t have an ongoing global pandemic to deal with.
The COVID-19 outbreak changed a lot of things for dog parents. We’ve needed to adjust the way we exercise our dogs, change our socialization training, and find alternatives to doggy daycares and classes that needed to close down for safety.
So how does the pandemic change our Take Your Dog To Work Day celebrations? Should we even participate at all? Here’s what DogTime recommends for Take Your Dog To Work Day based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Is It Safe For Dogs To Go To Work Now?
Although the risk of dogs spreading coronavirus is low, DogTime recommends alternatives to Take Your Dog To Work Day, some of which you can find later in this article.
States and cities all seem to have their own rules for re-opening businesses in the midst of the pandemic. If your place of business still hasn’t opened for employees to return in person, then maybe Take Your Dog To Work Day isn’t even an option for you.
If you work as an essential employee, then chances are also good that dogs would be frowned upon in the workplace in most cases, as well, regardless of the pandemic.
But assuming your place of business has re-opened, you may wonder if it’s safe to bring your dog in at all. Could your dog contract or spread the virus? Here’s what the CDC has to say:
“At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.”
So it’s unlikely that your dog will spread the virus to humans. But what about other dogs who may be visiting the office? Can coronavirus spread between animals? The CDC says:
“Data from one study suggest some dogs can get infected but might not spread the virus to other dogs as easily compared to cats and ferrets, which can easily spread the virus to other animals of the same species.”
Keep in mind, the CDC is presenting the information they have at this time based on limited studies. This is still a new and not-fully-understood virus, so if you’re still concerned, it’s best to skip this year’s Take Your Dog To Work Day or find an alternative way to celebrate.
How Can You Make The Workplace Safer For Dogs And Humans?
As mentioned, DogTime recommends choosing an alternative way to celebrate Take Your Dog To Work Day this year, and you can find suggestions later in this article. Although the risk is low, it’s better to stay as safe as possible.
If you do decide to participate in Take Your Dog To Work Day, then all the usual rules apply. Get permission from your employer first, bring enough supplies and a leash for your dog, and make sure you have products to clean up any accidents or messes.
Additionally, you should take measures to prevent the spread of disease, even though the possibility of your dog spreading COVID-19 is low.
Here are a few rules to make things safer for dogs and humans in the workplace:
- Clean surfaces that dogs and humans touch with an EPA-approved disinfectant.
- Require all humans to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer (preferably with at least 70 percent alcohol) before and after touching dogs. Humans may wish to wear gloves for extra protection.
- Keep all cleaners, hand sanitizers, or disinfectants out of dogs’ reach.
- All humans should wear face masks. Humans should follow this guideline regardless of whether dogs are around or not.
- Maintain social distancing as much as possible. Keep close-up interactions between dogs and new humans brief.
- Prevent your dog from licking humans or other dogs.
- Ensure the workplace has proper ventilation.
Alternative Ways To Celebrate Take Your Dog To Work Day
The safest thing to do this year may be to find an alternative way to observe Take Your Dog To Work Day that entirely removes the possibility of spreading coronavirus.
Here are a few suggestions we’ve come up with to help you celebrate:
Work From Home With Your Dog Day
When shelter-in-place rules first started, you probably ended up spending more time at home with your dog. Many businesses found ways to keep people working from home instead of coming into the office.
If that’s the case, you may want to ask your employer if you can spend another day working from home with your dog.
Your pooch will absolutely love this alternative. They were probably pretty happy to have you home so much during the shutdown. This way, you’ll give them another day to help mom or dad do their work from home.
Video Conference Your Dog To Work
One of the bright sides of working from home is that we’ve all gotten a lot better at video conferencing. There’s no reason we can’t include our dogs in our telecommunications these days!
If you have someone at home with your dog during the day, ask if they wouldn’t mind setting up a video chat for your fellow workers to e-meet your pup. A family member, dog walker, or anyone else still in the house can just Zoom or FaceTime them in.
And if you don’t have anyone at home during the day with your dog, consider setting up a pet camera. Not only will it be fun to show to your dog to your coworkers — you’ll also be able to check in on your pup throughout the day.
Save A Dog From Work Day
Even if dogs can’t come in to your office this year, you can still show off your love for pups by helping them find forever homes.
Animal shelters still need plenty of supplies and donations, so in lieu of Take Your Dog To Work Day, maybe you can celebrate by collecting and fundraising for your favorite animal shelter.
You can also promote individual animals in need of adoption to your coworkers. If you see an animal available at your local shelter who could use some help, consider having your office sponsor them.
You’ll be helping a pup in need, and you may even save a dog‘s life!
Have you found a creative, alternative way to celebrate Take Your Dog To Work Day during the pandemic? Does your workplace allow dogs to visit? Let us know in the comments below!