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 2021-22 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey:

  • 70% of U.S. households own a pet.
  • An estimated 23 million households added a new pet during the pandemic.
  • Nearly 70 million have a least one dog and over 45 million have one or more cats.
  • Millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic, at 32%.

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

  • 80% of pet parents say they were able to spend more time than usual with their pets during the pandemic.
  • 84% felt that the time together increased their emotional bond.
  • 90% say they want to spend as much time with pets going forward as they did last year.
  • 62% say having pets with them is important to their mental health in the post-pandemic world.

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

  • 89% of pet parents say it’s important they can continue to spend time with pets during the workday going forward.
  • 72% of those working from home say they want to be able to take pets to work and, for those that are returning to work, 79% are concerned about pets’ health or well-being.
  • 64% of Gen Z and 56% of Millennials say they’d switch to a new job or reduce work hours to spend more time with pets.

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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