|Did you know: Almost 40 percent of U.S. households have at least one dog and a third of U.S. households have at least one cat. Altogether, that’s 164.6 million animals. Those pets don’t just stay home, though. Many pet owners enjoy taking their animals with them when they run errands and some of them can even take their pets with them to work. These days, a good number of businesses are taking notice—using pet-friendly work environments to help employees de-stress and enhance the recruitment pool.In Germany, pets are particularly welcome at places of business with the exception of establishments that sell fresh food. In fact, pets can pretty much go wherever their owners go—even most government offices. Can you imagine how convenient that might be for pet owners in your community? Not that you would be the next pet store, but you would definitely be a welcome stop and preferred place of employment among people who enjoy taking their animals with them.|
Adopting a pet-friendly policy
A pet-friendly policy can be customer-facing or staff-facing. Currently, 17 percent of workplaces allow employees to bring their animals to the office with them due in part to a number of studies showing the relaxing and even therapeutic nature of interactions with animals. This might be an idea to consider if you work in a high-stress environment like Jone Bouman does. Jone is the director of communications at the American Humane Association film and TV office in Los Angeles, California. Her Lhasa Apso terrier mix Twigden accompanies her to work every day. “He makes me utterly happy,” she says. “And,” she notes, “I’ve actually seen the faces of people in my office relax and their shoulders go down whenever they pick him up for a hug or he trots into their office for a visit.”
We recognize a pet-friendly policy isn’t for everyone and it will take serious consideration and buy-in should you venture down that “ruff” path. Some people have allergies or even fears of animals. There’s also a fair amount of extra work that comes with allowing pets. But, if you decide that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, below are some basic starting guidelines for your new pet policy.
Make these rules and the others you agree upon very clear to your staff, visitors and returning customers.
Promote the policy
Pet-friendly business and workplaces are on the rise in the United States—you, too, can be one of them!
“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics : The Humane Society of the United States. The Humane Society of the United States, 12 Aug. 2011. Web. 05 Nov. 2012.
“Pets in Germany.” How To Germany – Pets in Germany. How to Germany, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012.
“Becoming a Pet Friendly Business.” Pet Friendliest Community | Becoming a Pet Friendly Business. Pet Friendliest Community, 2009. Web. 05 Nov. 2012.
Afzal, Sara. “Is Your Office Going to the Dogs?” Is Your Office Going to the Dogs? Five Top Dog-friendly Employers. – American Humane Association – CSMonitor.com. The Christian Science Monitor, n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
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