Today is the 21st annual Take Your Dog to Work Day — but at Amazon, it's just another day at the office.
The tradition of bringing a four-legged companion to Amazon's offices began in 1998 with a couple who brought their Welsh corgi, Rufus. Thanks to Rufus' popularity, Amazon boasts today that every day is "take your dog to work day." With a campus footprint of 13.6 million square feet – the equivalent of five Empire State Buildings – there's more than enough room for everyone, and their pet.
An Amazon spokesperson tells CNBC Make It that the company's campus amenities include dog parks, dog parking spaces (equipped with inactive parking meters for tethering leashes), as well as dog-friendly water fountains, conveniently located next to the human-sized water fountains.
Though Take Your Dog to Work Day tends to be the day each year when the largest number of canine colleagues visit the campus, an average of about 800 dogs come to work at Amazon every day. According to an Amazon spokesperson, the most popular dog breeds are French Bulldog, Chihuahua and the Goldendoodle, and Charlie, Lucy, Bella, Luna, and Bailey are the most common names.
Amazonians love their canine companions so much that they created a @dogsofamazon Instagram account as well as pet-inspired campus art, including a mural of owners and dogs who look alike.
Perhaps Amazon's dog obsession is a result of where the company is headquartered – Seattle has more canines than children living within its limits and Rover, an online platform for finding dog walkers and pet sitters, recently named Seattle No. 1 in a ranking of the nation's most dog-friendly cities.
Other companies are following in Amazon's pawprints, introducing benefits like "paw-ternity" leave, pet bereavement and pet health insurance to lure young talent (millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic)
"Having dogs in our workplace is an amazing treat," writes Lara Hirschfield, Amazon "Woof Pack" manager, on the company's blog. "They make employees smile, and we're proud this is such a uniquely Amazonian tradition – it's truly ingrained in our company and culture."
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