Category Archives: dog-friendly workplaces

Older Adults and Animal Programming

The Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative and the National Council on Aging have published a new guide to assist senior centers in implementing animal programmes.

There’s a large and growing body of evidence on the value of animals (especially dogs and other companion animals) in combating obesity, loneliness, mental health issues and inspiring memory recall in dementia patients.  In the western world, we also have a growing population of senior citizens and so there’s a strong rationale for rolling out animal programs in senior centers.

The guide cites real-life policy examples and literature in an easy-to-read guide.

Key recommendations on getting started include:

• Establish clear and measurable goals for your senior center
• Develop policies, protocols, and training programs for staff, volunteers, and animals
• Gain acceptance of your program and ensure participant awareness of policies and programming, including the benefits
• Assess risk and develop appropriate procedures to mitigate risk
• Measure successes and failures of your programs through record keeping, questionnaires, and other research

Back in the late 1990s, my Labrador Ebony and I were a therapy team at a local rest home as part of Canine Friends.  I saw first hand the faces of our human friends who looked forward to our visits, with conversations about pets they had in their lives.  The power of a dog sitting at their feet was strong!

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Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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The Most Pet-Friendly States in the USA

Safewise.com has published its rankings of the most pet-friendly states in the USA.

Using data from diverse sources such as the Bureau of Labor, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and online resources for pet-friendly accommodation such as BringFido.com, the company assessed states for pet-friendliness.

Pet friendly states

How does your state rank? Pet-friendly states as ranked by Safewise.com

The Top 10:

  1. Maine
  2. Virginia
  3. Arizona
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Colorado
  6. Oregon
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Kansas
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Washington

Studies like these can help pet owners make informed decisions about relocation and quality of life for them and their pets.  Well done to Safewise for sponsoring this study.

Source:  Safewise.com

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

USA 1, NZ 0

In today’s workplace ‘leadership’ is the prized personal quality and politicians are expected to show leadership when creating and debating policies and conducting themselves (hmmmm – some do better than others in this regard).

It is rather interesting to me that in a week of coverage about the US Government shutdown and stalemate over a budget, and in NZ where all the news is about a Prime Minister who has announced she’s pregnant, will multi-task, and be back at work in 6 weeks following the birth… that the USA’s Government is winning in one respect over New Zealand’s.

Congress and the Senate are pet-friendly.  New  Zealand’s Parliament doesn’t seem to know what that means…


In August 2017, a survey sponsored by by Nestlé Purina PetCare and conducted on behalf of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute was conducted by personal interviews in the House and Senate offices.  The purpose was to call attention the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace.

The 192 House and Senate offices who responded say they welcome pets in the office, either during recess, while Congress is in session, or both.

Capitol Hill

  • The pet-friendly Hill office findings were relatively consistent across party lines, geographic regions, and both chambers, suggesting wide bipartisan support for having pets at work.    (Common Ground!)
  • The Assistant Senate Historian, Dan Holt, said senators used to bring their hunting dogs into the Old Senate Chamber — to sit right by their feet during floor debates.

  • Circa 1800, congressional rules were enacted to prohibit pets on the Chamber floors.  Congressional rules, however, permit pets nearly everywhere else on Capitol Hill, and staffers are almost universally aware that pets are permitted throughout congressional buildings, with few limitations.

The rich tradition of pets on Capitol Hill continues today:

  • Dozens of members of Congress and their staffers are regularly seen accompanied by their four-legged friends in and around Capitol Hill offices.
  • Some dogs are known as being greeters to visitors to their offices.
  • Some congressional pets even have their own business cards, like Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s “Spaniel & Statesman,” Oliver
  • Staffers sometimes announce when pets are in the office, as with a recent dog photo and note taped to Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen’s office door stating, “Stevie is in the House!”

Dear Jacinda

Source: DC Stands for Dogs and Cats: New Survey Confirms Capitol Hill is a Very Pet-Friendly Workplace

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Hits and misses

Christchurch-based monthly magazine, Avenues, has a regular ‘hit & miss’ column to recognise things they like and don’t like which are happening around the city.

I’m pleased that dog-friendly workplaces have made the “Hit” list.

Hits and Misses

Of course, fur therapy is just one of the benefits of a dog-friendly workplaces.

Other benefits include:

  • studies show that people in a dog-friendly workplace will stay at work longer when they are not worried about getting home to their dog
  • with health & safety employer obligations, having dogs in the office to walk encourages staff to have proper breaks and exercise
  • staff have reduced dog care costs – no more costly day care payments which can add up quickly over time
  • because dogs act as a social lubricant, co-workers tend to interact more in a dog-friendly workplace

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Take Your Dog to Work Day is coming up on Friday.  I hope many of you are able to take your dog with you for the dayand maybe even convince your manager that a pet-friendly workplace has ongoing benefits.

Here’s my column on Office Dogs…profiling two Christchurch businesses that allow dogs to come to work!

September 2016-page-001

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

PAWrometer – taking the pulse of pets in the workplace

In early 2017, Banfield Pet Hospital undertook its 2nd annual PAWrometer survey to assess employee and employer views about pet-friendly workplaces.

For those who’d like to read the report – click here: Banfield’s PAWrometer report 2017.

More employees are looking for pet-related benefits (things like pet insurance) than for pet-friendly workplaces, this report found.  And not surprisingly, Millennials are the demographic of employee who are most interested in pet-friendly workplaces.  (I’m not a Millennial – I’m Gen X – so clearly I am a woman ahead of her time.)

The report also acknowledges the challenges in managing a pet-friendly workplace.

For those that don’t want to read the report, here’s the infographic with the summarized results…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pawrometer

Pawternity leave (puppy parental leave)

Well done to UK-based brewing company BrewDog.  The company was dog-friendly from its 2007 start – with 2 human founders and 1 dog.

Now with employees in the USA and UK, and already with dog-friendly offices, they have instituted one week of puppy parental leave for their employees.  When a new dog comes into your life, you can have a week off to get it settled.

This video tells you a bit more about it:

The Puppy Parental Leave policy is a first for the brewing industry.  Let’s hope more follow – along with companies in other industries.

Dogs are great for our health and well-being.  Happy dog owners also make happy and engaged employees when they feel that their status as dog parents is recognised.

Source:  BrewDog