Happy National Pet Day!

We take every opportunity to celebrate our loving, furry friends...and in honor of National Pet Day, we're taking a closer look at how organizations across the country support employees and their pets each day. We've already written about BrewDog pioneering paw-ternity leave; here are some other ways companies are going to the dogs.

Recruitment Tactic?

Pet-friendly benefits are all the rage. Did you know that over a third of Fortune 500 companies offer pet insurance? Others offer pet-friendly offices, discounted doggie daycare, and access to pet sitter databases. With Millennials opting for pets over kids at this time in their lives, could benefits that support Fido and Rover make them sit up and take notice?

Pawthorisation

Interviews for dogs? You bet. At Bright Horizons, dogs have to say "cheese" for the photographer and be registered with the risk management department prior to their first day in the office - and owners have to get approval from their supervisors and colleagues and provide documentation of up-to-date vaccinations. Nestlé (owner of Purina) puts pups through their "pawthorisation" process with a specialist evaluation of habits and behavior. Paging: the dog whisperer.

Reconciling Differences

People aren't the only ones who have conflicts: dogs can butt heads, too. When two dogs got into a tizzy at Buchanan Public Relations, the company's owner hired a dog trainer to sort things out, rather than nixing the pet-friendly policy. Could AR (animal relations) offices be next?

Gesundheit!

For employees with allergies, a pet-friendly office can launch a sneeze-fest. Salesforce separates dogs from the rest of the office in a special room - aptly named "Puppyforce." Six employees can use the room at one time, giving dogs access to things like water bowls and dog beds. And it keeps tissue costs down, too.

Dog People

At Google, dogs are part of the organizational culture - they're written into the organization's code of conduct - and those who are office regulars even get their own badges.

It's Raining Cats and...Fish?

At Petco's headquarters, nearly half of employees bring their pets to work each day. And they aren't restricted to just dogs. Employees are free to bring the whole menagerie to work - including cats, fish, reptiles, and birds.

Not every organization has an expressly stated pet policy. But that doesn't mean that four-legged friends don't matter; many these days simply recognize them under the heading of family, meaning it's just as acceptable to take time off to go to the pediatrician as the vet.

For many employees in today's workforce, pets are, indeed, family. Here's to our four-legged friends!

Written by: Jeannie Krill

About the Author

Jeannie Krill at Bright Horizons

As a former Bright Horizons preschool teacher, Jeannie has seen what child care means to clients firsthand. She also offers a view from the Millennials camp, cluing us into what’s challenging today’s largest demographic, and what they really want. She holds a BA in Psychology from Valparaiso University.