Most American households have at least one pet. Pet ownership in the U.S. has more than tripled from the 1970s, when approximately 67 million households had pets, to 2012, when there were 164 million owning pets. In other words, in 2012, 62 percent of American households included at least one pet. So, are YOU pro-pet in relation to office pet policies?
If you currently do not allow pets in the office you may want to rethink that decision after reading this post. Being a life-long dog owner myself, I know how hard it can be to leave your let at home no matter what kind of pet you have - even fish. This attachment to them and leaving often causes people - your employees - stress. This is yet another reason to telecommute or work-from-home but, that is a whole other issue in itself. The benefits go far beyond just reducing worker stress.
Check this out, in 2012 a study was conducted by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University to see if employees who were around dogs in the workplace reported feeling less stressed than employees who own dogs, but left them at home. The study also found that pets triggered workplace interactions that would not normally take place. The results? Nearly half of those who brought their dogs in reported increased productivity, while the rest reported no remarkable difference in their daily work output. A majority (80%) of those who did not bring dogs in did not report reduced productivity in the office, and 25% said dogs positively affected productivity.
Not to be dramatic, but in all the reading I've done and in my personal experience of being pro-pet in any office is it may save lives by reducing stress or extend the life of you, your employees or both. So, wag those tails, but you also need to keep in mind to ask your employees to leave high-stress, destructive, anti-social dogs like Cujo for example. It is even worst to have Spot barking all the day long. Take heed, because even among the sweetest puppies can get annoying and that is especially true of employes who work the phone a lot or do not own a pet.
U.S. pet-ownership estimates from the APPA for 2012
83.3 million—Number of owned dogs
47 percent—Percentage of households that own at least one dog
70 percent—Percentage of owners with one dog
20 percent—Percentage of owners with two dogs
10 percent—Percentage of owners with three or more dogs
1.47—Average number of owned dogs per household
20 percent—Percentage of owned dogs who were adopted from animal shelters
$231—Average annual amount spent by dog owners on routine veterinary visits
83 percent—Percentage of owned dogs who are spayed or neutered
Even—Proportion of male to female owned dogs
95.6 million—Number of owned cats
46 percent—Percentage of owners with one cat
31 percent—Percentage of owners with two cats
24 percent—Percentage of owners with three or more cats
2.11—Average number of owned cats per household
26 percent—Percentage of owned cats who were adopted from an animal shelter
$193—Average annual amount spent by cat owners on routine veterinary visits
91 percent—Percentage of owned cats who are spayed or neutered
73 percent vs. 62 percent—The difference in number of owned female cats and owned male cats, respectively
Your employees even yourself can benefit by being Pro Pet in the office. Now that you have read a bit, take some time to consider your offices' policy.
Carpe Diem My Friends
SOURCE: CNBC, Virginia Commonwealth University, Human Society