Benefits of Allowing Pets in Workplaces

As a business, you might wonder about the benefits of being pet friendly and allowing pets in workplaces. Pets at work make the workplace better!

Plus, there are more pet parents than ever, and research shows they want to spend more time with their pets than ever before.

Here are statistics that show how people think about pets and the impact they have on those around them.

According to the 2023-24 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey:

  • 66% of U.S. households own a pet.
  • An estimated 23 million households added a new pet during the pandemic.
  • Over 65 million have a least one dog and over 46 million have one or more cats.
  • Millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic, at 33%.

During the pandemic, many people have come to count on their pets more than ever:

  • 86% of pet parents said having a pet during the pandemic gave them companionship.
  • 78% said it helped reduce stress or anxiety.
  • 75% said it helped reduce monotony and boredom.
  • 69% said it gave them a sense of hope.

Pets in workplaces are valued too, now perhaps more than ever:

  • In a survey by Mars Petcare’s CESAR® brand, 89% of pet parents said it’s important for them to continue spending time with pets during the workday.
  • Pet parents said having dogs at work boosts happiness (58%), relieves anxiety or stress (57%), encourages healthy breaks (55%) and supports more social interaction (52%).
  • Nearly half of dog owners said it would be harder to leave their jobs if their company allowed them to bring their pets to work.
  • 37% of Gen Z dog owners said they would consider taking a pay cut to work for a pet-friendly company and 64% would change jobs or reduce hours to have more time with their pets.
  • In our “Pets in the Pandemic” research, 78% of working pet parents were worried about pet anxiety or confusion when they return to their workplace.
  • 75% expressed concern about their own personal anxiety if they have to return to work without their pet.

The health and companionship benefits for people who spend time with pets are widely documented, bringing positive impacts for employees and workplaces:

  • Pet owners tend to visit doctors less often and spend less money on medication. (Heady et al 2007)
  • Having a pet reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. (Friedman et al 2010)
  • 94% of heart patients with pets survive serious heart attacks, compared to only 72% without pets. (Friedman et al 2010)
  • The presence of dogs increases the number and length of people’s conversations with others in the community. (Jenkinson et al 2010)
  • Numerous studies have suggested dog walking is a great way to increase physical activity and may help reduce rates of obesity. (Timperio et al 2008)
  • Pet owners are significantly more likely to form friendships in their neighborhood than non-pet owners. (Wood et al 2015)
  • Pet owners feel less afraid of being a victim of crime when walking with a dog or sharing a residence with a dog. (Serpell et al 1991)

Want more tips? Check out the PETS WORK AT WORK™ Toolkit for info about how to start and maintain a successful pet-friendly workplace program.


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