Bark break

Stressed at work? Bark Breaks could be your key to workplace relief

Studies conducted by various researchers have shown that the interaction between humans and therapy dogs can significantly lower stress levels.

As we all know, one of the most stressful places is the office. To help curb some workplace stress and hopefully connect a dog with a forever home, the Arizona Animal Welfare League hosts Bark Breaks in honor of the national holiday, Take Your Dog to Work Day, which falls on June 23 every year.

Bark Breaks are available all year long, though, to help alleviate stress for employees at the office.

The Arizona Animal Welfare League hosts Bark Breaks twice a month with various businesses around the valley.

“It is proven that dogs help to lower blood pressure and help people think better,” says Michael Morefield, the director of communications at the Arizona Animal Welfare League.

All it takes is a boss’s approval, and employees can spend an entire day with dogs at their side in the midst of their responsibilities.

Dogs are already known to be stress relievers for people who have them in their homes, but to have them in a place where people are the most stressed makes a significant difference in the success of a business as well.

“One business had an employee retreat and we brought the dogs for a Bark Break for them during the retreat. They were making some really serious decisions about the company and the dogs helped to alleviate that stress,” Morefield says.

The bond that develops between employees and the dogs also creates an opportunity for a dog adoption.

Oftentimes, they come and visit the dog at the shelter after the Bark Break, but Morefield says it is not their goal to achieve adoptions with Bark Breaks.

Rather, it is about the bond that is created at the workplace with the dogs and people that allows for a relaxing day at the office instead of a day spent with headaches.

The idea of dogs at the workplace is about the enjoyment of the animals, and if a bond happens to stick, the opportunity for adoption is there as well.

But like Morefield says, “you don’t pick the animal, they pick you.”

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