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Take Your Dog To Work Day Survey – 82% Say Yes To ‘Pet Leave’

While it may be an unofficial holiday, 21 June is ‘Take your dog to work day’, and dogs in offices are becoming increasingly ‘pupular’. It is little wonder some even appear on company websites. After all, pets are part of the family, dogs reduce stress, and suitable breeds in certain offices add something special.

Aware of take your dog to work day, PD Insurance included questions on the notion of pups in the workplace in its Pet Parent Survey conducted in May this year. “The office dog is an institution for some employers and employees,” smiles Michelle Le Long, PD Insurance COO. “While we’ll be the first to admit it isn’t for everyone, a corporate canine works well in plenty of situations.”

But how, exactly, does ‘Business New Zealand’ feel about it?

Dogs at work 

Of the more than 2400 respondents to PD Insurance’s survey, just 13% of those working in an office were allowed to bring in a pup. 

It was a hard no for another 33%, and nearly 35% didn’t have any issue either way – because they don’t work in an office. “That’d be the tradies, nurses and police officers, and any number of other professions... where we like to think dogs are welcome, but actual policies probably vary widely,” Le Long comments.

Things get more interesting when pet parents were asked if employers should offer pet insurance as a benefit. More than half (51.3%) said yes, while 48.7% went with no. In a similar vein, there is a large minority of pet parents – nearly 27% - who would take a pay cut if their dog were permitted in the workplace. “Pet loving employers might consider these as creative perks where possible,” Le Long notes. 

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Very nearly the same quotient, 26.6%, even said they’d remain in a job they dislike, so long as the doggo got the nod.

Time off work to care for pets  

When asked if employers should allow ‘pet leave' to look after a sick pet or time to grieve a pet that has passed away, pet parents were fully for the idea. A clear majority (82.3%) said yes. “The reality, though, is that days off work are costly for employers,” Le Long notes. “So, while it may seem a good idea, putting it into practice is probably unlikely.”

Staying with health, many dogs can’t do the 9 to 5 and must instead stay home and likely miss us. Just how much? That may vary from case to case, but most dog parents don’t experience any issues.

That’s indicated by the small number of respondents (5.3%) who said their pup suffers from separation anxiety. One respondent said, ‘my dog does get anxious when I go out for long periods’, while another said their ‘lockdown puppy’ self-harms if left crated while I leave the house but would sleep all night in a crate if I was home’. Something to look out for, Le Long adds.

Celebrating our pups 

If take your dog to work day is a ‘thing’ (and indeed it is), what about pet birthdays? Asked if the special day warrants a celebration, a big 71.3% of respondents to said…yes! 

Ways of celebrating the important day varied, and included parties with human and pet friends, with 40% producing a pet friendly cake and treats, 53% including pet-friendly gifts, and 49% doling out extra love and attention.

One respondent said, ‘my dog gets a McDonalds cheeseburger on their birthday, while another said, ‘we go for a family dinner where pets are allowed, and we get her a special treat or small ice cream.’

What’s clear, says Le Long, is that New Zealanders love their dogs and want to be around them as much as possible. “We had a bit of fun looking at some of the lesser-canvassed aspects of pet parenting, and we’re glad we did. Our pets enhance our lives enormously, at home and in some workplaces. And that’s comforting in these challenging times.”

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