Cross taking the lead with inaugural Office Dog of the Year Contest.

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With Chinese New Year celebrating the Year of the Dog in February, Cross Pens are taking the lead on a new initiative to crown the UK’s best workplace pooch.

The Cross Office Dog of the Year 2018 is now open for submissions – celebrating workplaces with a wagging tail and a woof.

The competition comes in the wake of an increase of bosses allowing pets at desks and in offices – with around 8% of UK businesses having a friendly canine in the office or work location, to stand guard or, more often, have a quick nap.

Research concluded that man’s best friend has a significant effect on productivity and mindfulness with 88% of UK employees saying a dog improves their morale.

Further studies proved that having an Office Otterhound or desk-based Daschund increased creativity and mindfulness as well as reducing stress and anxiety.

With the National Health Service facing tighter budget restrictions, the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International estimates that owning a pet could save the NHS around £2.45 billion a year.

This will be welcome news for UK businesses with over 10 million working days lost in 2016, due to stress and mental health related illness.

Those benefits will be celebrated and rewarded through the Cross Office Dog of the Year competition, with the brand providing the ultimate prize pack to the best business beagle or the pinnacle of Pomeranian placements – including a Special Edition Cross Townsend Year of the Dog Pen, a one-of-a-kind dog tag and prizes from competition partners, Higher Nature and PetSafe® Brand.

The Cross Townsend Year of the Dog Pen is available as a ball-pen, rolling ball or fountain pen and features rich black lacquer with 23ct gold engraving in the shape of a dog plus a stunning red Swarowski crystal inset into the top of the cap. Prices start from £208.

Nicola Shepherd, Marketing Director for A.T. Cross EMEA, said that the increase in pooches in the office meant that launching the competition was an easy decision:

“Cross have launched the competition to celebrate man’s best friend and champion the health benefits of having a dog around the workplace. We believe that the natural boost provided by an employee’s best friend, ties in nicely with the well-documented mental benefits of taking a moment or two to write down your thoughts and plans – together, pooch plus pen is a recipe for a happy and healthy employee base.

“We’ve seen an increase in pets being in the office with businesses throughout the world making workplace pets part of their company culture.

“We’re excited to see the entries and how dogs are affecting people’s working habits – and of course how handsome our nation’s hounds are looking. This is the best way to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Dog.”

Entries for the Cross Office Dog of the Year are now open, with one winner and two runners up decided by an illustrious panel of judges.

To enter, send a photo of your office-based canine with 30 words on why they should win the inaugural competition to or to Cross Office Dog of the Year, Second Floor, 6 Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, WV1 4BL.