There's no denying that pets in the workplace, which we call "pets@work", is a growing trend in today's workforce. But, it hasn't caught on everywhere yet. When you're dropping subtle hints to your boss, for the dozen-th time, to let you bring in your well-behaved Fido into the office, here are some fact-based reasons from Purina to support your request. Once you have the go ahead, check out our Pets at Work Starter Kit to make sure your workplace if equipped for our 4-legged friends.
"Having pets walking through our offices every day makes for a warmer, friendlier environment at Purina, and we believe it helps with our productivity," said Dr. Kurt Venator, a Purina veterinarian. "We realize it won't work for every company and every pet owner, but we encourage other companies to try it and see for themselves how bringing pets to work can be a real benefit—for pets and their owners."
Simple. Pets reduce stress.
Research has shown that pets lower blood pressure, decrease levels of cortisone in the brain, lessen anxiety, boost immunity and prevent asthma and allergies that can be developed later on in life. Pets are uncomplicated love—all the time. They don't judge us; they don't offer unsolicited advice, and you won't hurt their feelings (unless you steal their Beggin'®). Pets allow us to relax and wave (or wag) away the stress.
Pets trigger work interactions that may not normally take place.
Ever been on the elevator at work (in silence) with another person along for the same ride? Imagine how having a pet by your side breaks the ice as you descend to the ground floor.
Pets have to go potty, forcing you to get up and get moving.
Even in bitter winter temperatures, your pup will look at you wagging its tail telling you it's time to go outside. Those extra few walks a day add up over time, giving your eyes a break from the computer screen and your body some much-needed exercise. At our 55-acre campus in downtown St. Louis, this means a visit to any one of our “Barkyard” dog parks for fresh air and socialization.
Pets influence the power of touch.
Petting a dog, whether it's yours or your cube-mate's, lowers the galvanic skin response, much like the science we know about a polygraph test, which measures feelings of fear, stress and anxiety. That simple ear rub or brush on the top of a dog's head can calm and disconnect you from the tensions we often subconsciously experience, like jaw-clenching or hyper-focusing.
Pets improve our productivity.
Sure, they may require some short walks during the day, which means more time away from your desk. But their sweetness, energy, and love make us happier during the day. Being happier makes us more productive. We're not worrying about staying at work late with the dog left at home all day. Research from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that when our pets come to work with us, we're happier, and we produce better work and overall better outcomes.
In 2015, we took it to the next level to honor and celebrate National Take Your Dog to Work Day. And we did it to spark a movement at workplaces around the globe. To celebrate, Purina organized events throughout the day for associates and their pets all day long, including "Paw-ttery", "Yappy Hour", professional black and white photos with your pet, a pet photo booth, and dog show performances by our Purina Pro Plan Performance Team. The highlight of the day? An attempt to set a RecordSetter.com World Record for ‘Most Pets in a Workplace in One Day'. A whopping 281 pets made it to work and out to the front lawn for a Purina Family photo!