17 Jun, 2016 Last updated: 17 Jun, 2016

Letter-to-editor by VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter
Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO

First published in the Daily News, Warwick, QLD on 17 June 2016. 

Interaction with our four-legged friends can have a hugely positive influence on our health and wellbeing.

Pet therapy is now common in hospitals, and comfort dogs are often sent to help people grieving after major tragedies, as occurred recently with the Orlando nightclub massacre.

That’s why VicHealth is getting behind International Bring Your Dog to Work Day (24 June) and why every Friday, dogs of all shapes and sizes are on duty in our office providing support, entertainment and cuddles to our employees. As a proud dog owner myself, it’s my favourite day of the week.

Studies have shown employees who bring their dogs to work experience lower stress levels, higher job satisfaction, and increased productivity. 

People move around more, get some physical activity in by walking their dogs at lunchtime and there’s increased social interaction between staff members who might not normally talk to each other.

It didn’t happen overnight, but initiating our dog policy has had countless benefits going both ways, and we urge other employers to do the same and seriously look into making more workplaces dog-friendly.

Friday’s international Bring Your Dog to Work day is a great way to see firsthand the benefits of having four-legged friends in the office. 

So dust off the leash, break out your pooches’ cutest doggie coat and get ready for a fun, healthy and productive day in the office this Friday 24 June.

Jerril Rechter is CEO of VicHealth