The Benefits of Having Pets in the Workplace

June 18, 2018

Here at the Healthy Pets office, our Chief Inspiration Officer, Bo, a 2-year-old Yellow Lab with a constant goofy grin, keeps the team smiling and laughing all day long. Thankfully, Bo is very well trained and relatively lazy during the day. He spends his time wandering amongst team members, looking for an edible handout or just a scratch on the head. With this week being “Take Your Pet To Work Week” we wanted to highlight the many pros, and few cons of having pets in the office.

Office pets can increase work-life balance

Having pets in the office can help pass long work hours and remind employees to take necessary work breaks, which are good for stretching legs and clearing heads. Spending too much time invested in a work task can increase unnecessary stress and decrease efficiency and overall work performance. According to Psychology Today, taking a 5 minute “movement break” while at work has serious health-related benefits, including a decrease in the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even obesity. These health benefits have also been connected to pet ownership.

They increase positivity

Having pets in the office can act as a form of comedic relief. A dog chasing its tail, or a cat playing with a toy can boost team morale, decrease stress and anxiety, and get people more excited when walking into the office each morning. Bo certainly keeps our office laughing with his silly antics.

They increase social interaction

According to TD Ameritrade, 70% of millennials own a pet. The majority of these pet owners refer to their four-legged friends as “fur babies”, and are always gushing to boast about them. Allowing pets in the workplace is proven to increase comradery among co-workers and provides an effortless topic discussion for employees, neighbors, and other acquaintances.

While the pros of working at a pet-friendly office are overwhelming, there are many things to take into consideration. Dogs and cats can cause serious allergic reactions, especially to those who didn’t grow up with pets. Dogs and outdoor cats can also track in bacteria or transferable viruses, which can be harmful to young people, or those with compromised immune systems. Employers and colleagues should also be aware of animal-related phobias of their colleagues and people who visit the office. If you’re interested in introducing pets to your workplace or wish to learn more about the pros and cons associated with this movement, speak to a veterinarian today!