Dog days are certainly not over in Ballarat as offices around the city prepare to embrace our four-legged friends.
Tomorrow (June 21) is "Take Your Dog to Work Day", an annual initiative which started 20 years ago in the United States. Originally designed to encourage more animals to be adopted from local shelters, the initiative has now been taken up by other workplaces worldwide for wider health reasons.
Whenever dogs come into the office, you can see the morale of the team just liftKatherine Rickard, PETstock Ballarat
The presence of dogs in the workplace is said to increase a sense of wellbeing, reduce stress - as well as encourage different parts of the business to bond over their shared love of pets.
Staff at the PETStock head office in Lydiard Street are more used to the concept than most. Most days in fact are bring your dog to work days, as the company has a year round pet-welcoming policy.
PETStock's Katherine Rickard had her labrador Maggie with her on site yesterday.
"Every day there will be dogs in the office," she told The Courier. "You can bring your dog in provided it gets on with others."
This was no issue for Maggie, she said. "She absolutely loves people and loves other dogs. To her, it is a day out, like going to a theme park."
The effect on the office team was also tangible, Ms Rickard said. "Whenever dogs come into the office, you can see the morale of the team just lift."
"If we have a new dog come in, it's like we've added a new family member to our team."
The company also allows other animals to come in, including cats and ferrets.
The office holds a regular Hot Lap, where owners and their pets walk around 20 minutes through the neighbourhood, leaving from the headquarters on Lydiard St North.
For Take Your Dog to Work Day, staff will also hold a fundraising Hot Dog Lunch, the proceeds of which will go to help local rescue shelters.
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