Celebrate National Take Your Dog to Work Day on Friday, June 26

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The AKC Canine Health Foundation, a nonprofit organization celebrating 20 years of preventing, treating, and curing diseases in all dogs, is spreading the word about the benefits of dogs in the workplace on national Take Your Dog To Work Day®, Friday, June 26. The event was created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters. “Research has shown the benefits of having a dog-friendly workplace. We see this firsthand, as we always have several dogs in the office,” Susan Lilly, CEO, said, adding, “We’re focused not only on keeping dogs physically healthy, but mentally healthy, as well. Having dogs in the workplace is just one way we can all benefit.”

Thousands of businesses across the country regularly participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day, including Purina, a Canine Health Foundation alliance, which will be celebrating with fun-filled activities for employees at its headquarters in St. Louis, highlighted by an attempt to set a RecordSetter.com World Record for ‘Most Pets in the Workplace in One Day’ by inviting St. Louis-based employees to bring their pets to work.

More than 17 years ago, Nestlé Purina started encouraging its associates to bring their pets to work and it has provided many benefits for employees and their pets through the years. More than 500 Purina associates have registered to bring their pets to work, and hundreds of pets can be seen at Purina’s St. Louis campus during any given week.

The Canine Health Foundation’s Development and Events Specialist, Kathryn Simpson, brings her dog, Andi, to work every day.

“We both enjoy coming into the office together.  Andi loves greeting everyone as they walk through the door and socializing with the other dogs in the building.  She’s the perfect companion, always at my feet, there to comfort me anytime I feel overwhelmed or need a quick stress reliever,” Simpson said.

“Having her at work also forces me to get away from my desks and take breaks outside, keeping us both energized and happy,” she added.

There is increasing evidence that dogs can have a very positive impact on the workplace, according to Brian Hare, Ph.D., a Canine Health Foundation-funded researcher and Duke University Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology.

Dr. Hare and other leading scientists have been quoted recently on a study reporting that human-dog interactions elicit a rise in oxytocin, a hormone that plays a role in maternal bonding, trust, and altruism. This could be good news for the workplace, as oxytocin decreases anxiety, and as people are less stressed out, it’s better for their health.

Promoting Take Your Dog to Work Day is part of a continuing outreach effort by the Canine Health Foundation to emphasize the importance not just of a dog’s physical health, but also their mental and social well-being.

Currently, over 100 active research projects are being supported by funds raised by the Foundation throughout the U.S. This research has led to numerous breakthroughs in disease prevention and treatment in the areas of behavior, epilepsy, cancer, cardiology, musculoskeletal injuries and disease, and bloat, among others. Currently, over 100 active research projects are being supported by funds raised by the Foundation from corporate donors, dog clubs, and dog lovers throughout the world.

For the third straight year, the Canine Health Foundation has received the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, reflecting sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Donations to the organization help bridge the gap between veterinary research and dog lovers by enabling the organization to leverage the power of science and research to provide reliable, trustworthy canine health resources. Outcomes from many of these research studies are published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific conferences, helping to advance veterinary treatment. Outcomes are also shared with dog community stakeholders and a new breed of dog owner via social media campaigns and informative, professional online resources like fact sheets, webinars, and podcasts available on the Foundation’s website, www.akcchf.org.

Donations to support the Foundation’s canine health research can be made by calling 1-888-682-9696 or visiting the AKC Canine Health Foundation website www.akcchf.org/donate.

About the AKC Canine Health Foundation
The Raleigh, NC-based AKC Canine Health Foundation is in its 20th year of leveraging the power of science and research to improve the lives of dogs and their people. The Foundation is dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing diseases impacting all dogs while providing unbiased, professional information and resources for a new breed of dog owner. Take action because you care; find out more online at www.akcchf.org.