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9 Benefits of Taking Your Dog to Work

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There are lots of great reasons to participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day (mark your calendars! It's Friday, June 23). Taking down the "No Pets Allowed" sign and having an office where dogs are welcomed can benefit everyone. These nine reasons might just be enough to convince your boss.

1. EASY ICEBREAKERS

Coworkers, bosses, vendors, and clients in your office are not going to be able to resist saying hello to your canine co-worker, which means they will end up communicating with you too. Dogs help people loosen up, feel friendlier, and they create an easy way to initially interact with someone who might have been difficult to introduce yourself to otherwise.

2. STRESS REDUCTION

A study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that workers who brought their pets to work had stress levels that decreased through the day, while workers without pets had stress levels that ratcheted up throughout the day. Stress relief created through wet kisses and furry hugs sounds like a much better option than trekking to the vending machine again.

3. BROWNIE POINTS FOR WORKING LONGER

Want to impress your boss? Bring your dog to work and you'll likely find you will (happily!) stay longer and work more, according to a survey by the American Pet Products Association. Because your pet is with you, you won't feel pressured to hurry home to walk or feed it, and you will feel happier and more content while you are at the office.

4. FLOWING CREATIVITY

Man in work attire sits on floor with a dog.
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According to the same survey, having your canine pal along makes people feel more creative at work. Presumably, having a friendly and supportive buddy nearby—one who has already lowered your stress levels so that you can fully concentrate—can help you focus and tap into your inner genius so you can come up with exactly the best solution or idea for the project at hand.

5. IMPROVED HEALTH

According to the Centers for Disease Control, pets help reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure in their owners. Taking your dog to work also means that you will absolutely have to get up and take more frequent walks throughout the day than you might have otherwise—and all those extra steps add up (even if you don't hit the fairly arbitrary 10,000-steps-a-day mark).

6. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY

You might worry that your dog will keep you from concentrating or getting enough done at work, but the opposite is true. Because your dog forces you to take short walks and respond to periodic pleas for petting or attention throughout the day, you're getting mental and physical breaks at regular intervals. Frequent short breaks like these actually increase your productivity.

7. INCREASED COWORKER COOPERATION

Two women talking in office while a dog sits near a desk.
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Offices with dogs tend to have increased cooperation and better working relationships amongst employees. Whether it's that dogs increase morale, make everyone feel more positive, or simply give them a reason to talk more, offices with pets are more likely to maintain a friendly working rapport across the board.

8. LESS WORRYING

If you've got a very young, sick, misbehaving, or elderly dog, leaving it home alone for nine or more hours can begin to wear on you later in the day. You may worry about what the dog is destroying, or if it's lonely or feeling OK. But bringing your dog to work means you (and your coworkers) will have your eyes on your pup all day long and won’t have to imagine what might be happening at home. And, your dog will be happier after spending the day with you and around other people and pets too.

9. INCREASED OVERALL JOB SATISFACTION

Employees who bring their dogs to work have higher levels of job satisfaction overall, likely due to a combination of being near their pets, feeling the effects of lessened stress, and knowing their employers are adopting policies designed to make the office a happier environment. Sounds like a win-win-win situation all around!

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Animals
Dogs Rescued After Hurricane Maria Are Available to Adopt in New York
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Dozens of dogs displaced by Hurricane Maria last month are now closer to having happy endings to their stories. As Mashable reports, 53 dogs flown out of Puerto Rico by The Sato Project have been put up for adoption in shelters around the U.S., with 28 of the rescues now available through a shelter in New York City.

The new batch of dogs looking for forever homes is in addition to the 60 dogs retrieved by The Sato Project earlier this month. According to the local animal rescue group, Puerto Rico was home to about 500,000 stray dogs before the historic storm made landfall in September. The animals being shuttled from the devastated island and into the U.S. via charter plane are a mix of feral dogs, abandoned dogs, and dogs that were surrendered to local shelters by families unable to care for them post-Maria.

The Sato Project, which worked to tackle Puerto Rico's stray dog problem before the disaster, wrote that in light of the storm they would be "mobilizing to provide supplies and support to our team on the ground in Puerto Rico, and to transport as many dogs as we can to safety in the coming days and weeks."

Aspiring pet owners looking to take in a four-legged survivor will have the best luck at the no-kill shelter Animal Haven in Manhattan's Lower East Side. There, dozens of dogs who made the trip from the U.S. territory are anxiously waiting to meet their new families. And if you don't live in the New York City area, you can check out The Sato Project's list of adoptable pets around the country.

Looking for ways to help Puerto Rico that don't involve adding a new member to the family? Here are some organizations doing recovery work on the island and ways you can support them.

[h/t Mashable]

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Big Questions
Why Do Cats Freak Out After Pooping?
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Cats often exhibit some very peculiar behavior, from getting into deadly combat situations with their own tail to pouncing on unsuspecting humans. Among their most curious habits: running from their litter box like a greyhound after moving their bowels. Are they running from their own fecal matter? Has waste elimination prompted a sense of euphoria?

Experts—if anyone is said to qualify as an expert in post-poop moods—aren’t exactly sure, but they’ve presented a number of entertaining theories. From a biological standpoint, some animal behaviorists suspect that a cat bolting after a deposit might stem from fears that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. But researchers are quick to note that they haven’t observed cats run from their BMs in the wild.

Biology also has a little bit to do with another theory, which postulates that cats used to getting their rear ends licked by their mother after defecating as kittens are showing off their independence by sprinting away, their butts having taken on self-cleaning properties in adulthood.

Not convinced? You might find another idea more plausible: Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, the nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to a pleasurable sensation and what some have labeled “poo-phoria,” or post-poop elation. In running, the cat may simply be working off excess energy brought on by stimulation of the nerve.

Less interesting is the notion that notoriously hygienic cats may simply want to shake off excess litter or fecal matter by running a 100-meter dash, or that a digestive problem has led to some discomfort they’re attempting to flee from. The fact is, so little research has been done in the field of pooping cat mania that there’s no universally accepted answer. Like so much of what makes cats tick, a definitive motivation will have to remain a mystery.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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