National Dog Day Is August 26th!
Here’s How Your Pooch Can Improve Your Work Performance!
While many of us would agree that working from home has had its ups and downs, one undeniably positive improvement has been the ability to hang out with our pets all day long. Sure, they can be needy sometimes (we’re looking at you, french bulldogs), but they have been unwavering companions in these past years when so many of us felt more isolated than ever before.
National Dog Day is celebrated annually and was founded in 2004 by Colleen Paige, a pet and family lifestyle expert, animal rescuer, dog trainer, and author. Why August 26th, you may ask? That’s the day Colleen’s family adopted their first dog from a local animal shelter back when Colleen was only ten years old.
The purpose of National Dog Day is to bring greater awareness to the growing number of dogs that need to be rescued yearly and all the tremendous work that goes into that effort. At the same time, the holiday’s creators want the public to be mindful of all the dogs that work each day selfishly to protect, save lives, and bring comfort to their human counterparts.
To celebrate National Dog Day, we thought we’d take a moment to recognize the most popular pet of them all: dogs. (No offense intended to any other species out there, but we’re just stating facts here.) We thought we’d speak a little about all the great benefits that dogs bring to their human companions, how they may improve your workplace or workspace, and tell you a little bit about our main man, Gildber The Husky.
The Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
Dogs are cute, loyal, good with children, and just plain fun. Aside from that, dog owners benefit from numerous physical and mental health benefits. For one, as any dog owner can tell you, dogs are great exercise. Even if your dog isn’t particularly active, between feeding times, bathroom walks, and chewing toys that get thrown across the living room, dogs have a way of ensuring that you don’t spend too much time lounging on the sofa.
But besides that, did you know that a study conducted by Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), found that dog ownership was associated with longer life expectancy among those with previous heart conditions? For heart attack survivors who live alone, it increased their risk of survival by a whopping 33% compared to those who did not have a dog.
Additionally, the AHA also found that many people who own dogs report having lower blood pressure. In 2013 they even stated that owning a dog is “a reasonable strategy for reducing heart risk.” Whether this is due to the increased physical activity that comes with owning a dog or the fact that our furry pals provide therapeutic and calming effects to their owners isn’t entirely clear, though.
In general, doggie parents tend to have fewer trips to the hospital, suffer from fewer incidences of minor seasonal illnesses such as cold and hay fever, and are more able to cope with stressful events, helping them to avoid anxiety-related illnesses. Plus, while all children are susceptible to developing pet allergies, babies who grow up in homes that have dogs are much less likely to develop them than those who live in dog-free homes.
The most obvious thing to mention here is that dogs bring a sense of companionship to people. This applies both to people who live alone and those who live with others. The canine/human bond is something that has been studied for generations and, even after all this time, isn’t completely understood. Still, there is no denying the fact that there is a special bond shared between humans and dogs that is unseen in other pets or animal species.
Besides that, dogs also help to introduce structure into our lives. This can be especially helpful for both the very young and the very old who have not yet established, or lost, a normal life routine. How? Dogs have, for the most part, regular eating habits, regular bathroom habits, and regular sleeping habits. Think about it, have you ever looked at your dog sleeping on the sofa and thought to yourself that you should head to bed yourself?
And, of course, dogs help to relieve stress. It’s common for universities and colleges to set up a puppy room during finals week to help ease the suffering of overstressed college students. Students who interact with the dogs on campus report feeling less stressed and more capable of taking on the wave of exams and final essays they have in the coming weeks.
Don’t think that this is some placebo effect, either: it’s science. When a person pets a dog, both creatures experience an increase in oxytocin. Oxytocin is the “love hormone” that we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. It’s the same hormone that gets released when a mother holds her baby or when a couple hugs or kisses each other. It turns out that the same exact mechanism exists between dogs and humans when petting occurs.
Could you just imagine all the positive benefits that might occur if employers across the country started allowing their employees to bring their dogs to work? Granted, it might prove difficult for people to get anything done if there’s an extraordinarily cute french bulldog prancing around the office, but bringing pets to the workplace is not a new idea, and employers have been implementing it to varying degrees of success for years. This brings us to our next topic…
Can I Bring My Dog to Work?
Unfortunately, we can’t answer that question for you; you’re going to have to ask your employer! That being said, if your boss needs some convincing, there have been multiple studies that prove that having dogs in the workplace contributes to employees’ overall well-being.
First, let’s examine overall stress levels and job satisfaction scores among employees who were allowed to bring their dogs to work. A study conducted by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management sought to compare two groups of workers, one who occupied a workplace where dogs were allowed and one where they were not.
The study showed that there were significant differences in terms of overall work stress and corresponding job satisfaction scales between the two groups.
And can you guess which group scored better? We probably don’t even need to say it, but yes, the dog group was found to have improvements in terms of “physiological and perceived stress, perceptions of job satisfaction, organizational affective commitment, and perceived organizational support.”
Secondly, dogs are a great way of attracting and retaining new employees. This is something that has been a huge problem for many companies as of late, with so many people leaving their jobs with the onset of the COVID pandemic. Well, as you may have guessed, having a solid pet-friendly workplace policy can, in fact, attract and help retain new employees.
Even more impressive is the level of connection to the company that pet-friendly workplaces bring. In fact, 90 percent of employees who work in such environments said that they feel highly connected to their company’s mission and would recommend their employer to others. And what did those who worked in environments that weren’t pet-friendly feel? Big surprise: just a bit over half shared the same sentiment.
Then let’s talk about communication (pun intended). Dogs are almost universally loved, even among people who don’t own one themselves. Studies have shown that dogs in the workplace greatly help to facilitate communication in a work environment. This is especially true among new employees who are struggling to find ways to fit in with the rest of their coworkers. Dogs are a wonderful way to find a common topic of discussion.
Lastly, they may ease tension in otherwise stressful situations. Imagine there is going to be some sort of a heated negotiation in your office between your team and a group of potential clients. Chances are that both sides will go into the room with pent-up aggression before the first word even comes out of anyone’s mouth. But then, along comes a husky… a really cute husky… let’s call him Gildber. Would you be able to remain angry while petting Gildber? Yeah… we didn’t think so.
Speaking of Which, Have You Met Him?
At Gild Insurance, we believe that finding the right insurance fit shouldn’t be a burden. It should be a positive experience, something that puts your mind at ease and makes you confident that you and your business are covered in the event that something unfortunate happens.
That’s why the spotlight shines on Gildber. We think he just has this certain way about him that perfectly exudes what we’re trying to accomplish here. He’s fun, quirky, and cute, but also smart, practical, and full of knowledge from all of us here at Gild. He’s the quintessential example of what makes us different and what makes us better.
We know that the key to success in today’s world is a balance of technology backed by a personal touch (hence, why we have Gildber). The nature of our digital business model means that you get greater access to the latest innovations. No longer do you, —as a small business, solopreneur, or freelancer—have to feel like you are the last priority. With Gild Insurance, you get the latest, first.
To learn more and to get started on your own personal insurance journey, why don’t you head over here and get to know Gildber a little better? Trust us; he’s not like some of those other company mascots that are all style and no substance. He really knows his *ahem* stuff, and you can count on him to take care of you and provide options that fit your business. (Oh, and by the way, give him a scratch behind the ears—he really likes that!)