How to Unleash the Positive Power of Pets on the Job with Tips to Prepare for Taking Fido to Work

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Ways to Make Take Your Dog To Work Day® a Success

Businesses across the United States are planning to make a ‘pawsitive’ change with canine co-workers. Friday, June 22, 2018 is Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWDay®), the 20th annual observation of a fun opportunity for dog owners created by Pet Sitters International (PSI).

IMG_hr82mvMore American firms are opening their doors to pets at work. The number of companies allowing pets in the workplace is on the rise according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Researchers found support among the American workforce for pets on the job:

55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment

50 million believe having pets in workplace helps co-workers get along better

38 million believe having pets in workplace creates a more productive work environment

37 million believe having pets in workplace helps improve relationships between managers and staff

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Pets in the workplace can improve productivity

Are you planning on taking your dog to work for the first time? Make sure your office environment is safe. Remove poisonous plants and pesticides, hide electrical cords and wires and secure toxic items such as permanent markers. Any office items in question should be placed out of reach.

Make sure your dog is fit for work. Even dogs don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Be sure your dog’s shots are current. Make plans to have your dog bathed and groomed before accompanying you to work. Be mindful of your dog’s “work readiness.” You know your dog’s demeanor, so if he is aggressive or overly shy, it’s best to leave him at home. Consider how your dog has behaved in the past around strangers before making the decision to bring him. If your dog has shown fear, irritability or aggression, or if your dog has never met strangers, the workplace is not the best place for him.

Petatwork_Participant_at_Pet Sitters International NCHave a doggie bag. Include food, treats, bowls, toys, leash, paper towels, clean-up bags and pet-safe disinfectant. If you are routinely in and out of your work space, consider bringing a baby gate for your doorway or a portable kennel for your dog’s comfort and your peace of mind.

Plan your pet’s feeding times carefully. During an important sales call is probably not the best time for a bathroom break. Plan your dog’s feeding time around your work schedule and be sure to choose an appropriate area for your dog to relieve himself afterward.

Avoid forcing co-workers to interact with your dog. Dog lovers will make themselves known. Sally from accounting and Joe in human resources may not want to play fetch or offer belly rubs, so be mindful of fellow employees’ time and space. To avoid pet accidents, monitor the amount of treats your pet is being given from your co-workers. Remember that chocolate, candy and other people food should not be shared with dogs and that not all non-dog owners will be aware that these items can be very toxic to your pooch.

Have an exit strategy. Although most dogs enjoy being with owners at work, your pet may not. Should your dog become overly boisterous, agitated or withdrawn, consider taking him home or plan in advance for your professional pet sitter to offer a midday check-in visit. Never, under any circumstance, leave your pet alone in a vehicle while you work!09_tydtwday_hitachi_data_systems___staff

Publicizing your company’s participation in Take Your Dog to Work Day with local media and on social media platforms can generate some positive buzz for your business. Consider making the day a fund-raising opportunity for an area non-profit benefiting pet ownership.

“While TYDTWDay offers a fun opportunity to have dogs at work, its purpose since the inaugural celebration has always been to encourage pet adoptions,” explained Beth Stultz, PSI vice-president and TYDTWDay spokesperson.  “We hear from participating companies that partner with local shelters or rescue groups to allow them to bring in adoptable pets, host benefit luncheons or charity auctions, or plan contests such as dog-owner lookalike competitions to raise money for local pet-related organizations.”

Businesses interested in participating in TYDTWDay® can download PSI’s free 2018 Take Your Dog To Work Day® Toolkit at petsit.com/toolkit.

2018-TYDTWDay-Steps to follow before you take your dog to work

Why a Rock Star’s Snoring Brings Joy

DEYVTHFARFI’m up early because I’ve been trying to start each day with meditation and some stretching before reaching for the phone or leaving the bedroom. This morning is different. Snoring is disrupting meditative concentration. It is very quiet as the neighborhood seems to be sleeping along with my room-mate.

This intermittent snoring is prompting me to wonder if I should be changing the air filter. It is easier to consider allergies as the reason for the snoring than reflect on the fact my dear friend is aging.

As I am writing this, I’m calculating our years together and recalling our first meeting. It has been 11 years since I saw an adorable three-year-old with a long shag cut an observer compared to the ‘Rod Stewart’ look. He is a rock star no matter his hair cut.

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A rock star’s adoption photo at the APA Adoption Center

I’m finding joy today in snoring because of his magic. Turning routine errands into adventures and introducing me to new people are effortless for him. He elicits waves from strangers and requests for selfie photos from a ‘rescue’ who rescues me from loneliness.

He is sleeping more. Maybe it is because of the medication for arthritis pain. I’ve read many aging rock stars need medication to keep touring and performing for their audiences. My Rod Stewart needs his rest to be at his best for his public.

We will head out for coffee soon and sit outside even though it is lightly raining. He won’t disappoint his public. It is part of his magic to radiate joy on the darkest days and transform ordinary tasks into extraordinary fun.

I’m grateful for all the animal rescue agencies and groups like the APA Adoption Center where I met this rock star. Rock On!

 

 

A Simple Secret 1 in 4 Americans Use to Feel Better and Improve their Lifestyle

Would you like to feel better and perhaps get a professional boost too? It is not a new juice cleanse or exercise regime I want to share; it can be as easy as walking a dog or reading to a toddler. It is an opportunity to grow personally and professionally as a volunteer. Health and lifestyle research finds there are many benefits for volunteers.11084281_825868887478501_532518496970130019_n

Here are just a few:

Volunteering connects you to others
Volunteering increases your social and relationship skills
Volunteering increases self-confidence
Volunteering combats depression
Volunteering with animals has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress
Volunteering can reduce anxiety
Volunteering can provide career experience or allow you to practice work skills

Many of your neighbors are enjoying these benefits. More than 62 million people give their time according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. It works out to one in four Americans volunteering their time.

Do you have a story about a volunteer experience to share? I would like to hear your tips and experiences as a volunteer. I volunteer in a couple of ways, but my favorite is the adoption center where I found my pets, the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APAofMO).

Volunteers and educators from APA of MO Adoption Center work with children

Volunteers and educators from APA of MO Adoption Center work with children

A Smart Spring Break Stay-Cation Idea: Fun With Furry Friends at APA Adoption Center

ttttttumblr_n2r4gqdeib1r3zbhoo3_1280Spring break may prompt thoughts of a beach getaway or an exotic trip but family fun and adventures don’t have to include travel. A “stay-cation” in Saint Louis is filled with wonderful possibilities.

One creative and fun option is the Animal Protective Association of Missouri or APA. The APA Adoption Center offers many choices of activities and interactive sessions for kids of all ages.

Parents often get together and plan a joint outing for several families during spring break. This is easily done because the options at APA‘s Adoption Center are customizable and cost effective. There are a variety of classes about animal care, safety, center tours, pet related crafts and interaction with animals mixed with fun and games.

Not all lessons during spring break take place at the Adoption Center. For some youngsters, anticipation of the animal adventure begins days before as they join forces to collect supplies to help homeless pets. These collection efforts can take on the air of a scavenger hunt involving extended family and neighbors. It is a great opportunity to share the joy of volunteering and practice the lesson of selflessness with children. There is a wish list of easy to find items for homeless pets on the APA website.

APA Director of Humane Education Jennifer Blome works with educators and volunteers to deliver fun and meaningful opportunities; “It is more than learning to love and play with animals in the right way. We have a curriculum of age appropriate lessons and activities to engage minds and hearts.”

It doesn’t have to be spring break to take a class. The APA offers birthday parties and other special events customizable for your group. Some of the party details can be found here. 

The APA works year around to educate on the importance of treating each other and animals with compassion and respect. APA presentations are held in the community along with group classes for scout, school and community groups. You can see a list of some program options by clicking here or on the website: http://www.apamo.org/education/group-programs/group-programs-list/

You can sign up for a public class as an individual adult, or bring your child to a family event. For information on upcoming classes and programs through community organizations, email jennifer@apamo.org.

Scheduling a class or event at the APA Adoption Center can be such a rewarding and unforgettable experience; it may become a favorite family tradition. Remember to bring a camera to capture the learning and play of your APA day.

Personalize your visit to the APA of MO for fun, crafts, safety, and more!

Personalize your visit to the APA of MO for fun, crafts, safety, and more!

A Tasty and Healthy Snack that May Fight Obesity and Reduce Diabetes Risk

More than 27 million American women have low bone mass, putting them at risk for osteoporosis according to the latest research. Around nine million women are currently living with osteoporosis according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Women up to age 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium daily; 1,200 mg for those age 51 and older.

Low-fat or non-fat dairy, including milk, cheese or yogurt are great sources of calcium and according to a new Canadian study could reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. Researchers from Laval University and CHU de Quebec Research Center discovered that overall metabolic health could be linked to the consumption of milk-based foods. The new findings can be found in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

A healthy and low calorie treat chocked full of calcium is Isabel Minunni’s recipe for yogurt-chocolate pretzel pops. At less than 170 calories per pop, they make a great treat for every member of the family.

Healthy Yogurt Pop Ingredients:
1 cup dark chocolate chips, divided
14 pretzel rods
3 cups plain, unsweetened yogurt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey

Directions:
With a double oven, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Coat one end, halfway up, of each pretzel with melted chocolate. Place on foil or parchment paper to harden.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, thoroughly mix yogurt, vanilla, honey, and remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Scoop yogurt mixture into 14 desired pop molds. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Place a pretzel in each mold, with the chocolate-coated side into pop, and place back in the freezer to completely freeze — about 6 hours.

Place ice pop mold’s tips in warm water to remove yogurt pops. Enjoy!
Makes 14 pops; each serving contains 167 calories, 4 grams protein, and 1.5 grams fiber.

You can use any good yogurt in this recipe, but I have a favorite for several reasons. Prairie Farms represents over 700 farm families and their distribution system covers over 30 percent of the United States!

The Prairie Farms products are free of artificial growth hormones. Plus Prairie Farms charitable giving program, Our Caps, Your Cause, supports a variety of non-profit organizations enabling consumers to support their favorite nonprofit. The “Our Caps, Your Cause” program gives consumers a say in where the donations go.
Learn more about how Our Caps, Your Cause, supports a variety of non-profit organizations at prairiefarms.com.

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