This post is inspired by my friend Rachel, who tells me that her husband, Nick, is trying persuade his company that they should become pet-friendly. Or at least give it a try.
I support the concept of pet-friendly accommodation, workplaces, and shopping because I believe it supports good socialization in our dogs, offers stress relief for owners and workers, and supports good dog ownership because dogs are not left at home for long periods of time.
Earlier this year, Fortune magazine profiled the 12 best pet-friendly companies. They are:
- Genentech, a biotech company. While it can’t allow pets in the office because of federal hygiene regulations, it makes up for it by providing its employees with discounts for doggy daycare, pet insurance and a company club for dog lovers called gDogs so they can share information.
- Kimpton, a hotel chain with a long history of being pet-friendly. The company provides its employees with pet insurance, pet bereavement leave and supports them bringing their dogs to work with bowls, treats, and beds. Some hotel locations also have a Director of Pet Relations which is usually a dog owned by one of the employees whose job it is to greet guests.
- Atlantic Health, a hospital chain in New Jersey. It trains its staff to become part of its Soothing Paws therapy program and even sponsors a pet therapy conference.
- VMWare, a visualization software company with an open campus policy. Staff who want to bring their dog to work sign an etiquette agreement and their dog is given a bandana.
- Salesforce, a cloud-based software company in San Francisco. It provides its employees with pet insurance discounts, dog walking services, and house calls from a vet. The company’s pet policy called Puppyforce allows up to six employees to book a special room with water bowls, beds, sound-proofed walls, crates and cleaning materials.
- Mars, the multi-national providing confectionery and pet food products. 80% of the company’s volunteer projects are about animals; traveling staff are supported with pet feeding and boarding programs, and the offices are pet-friendly.
- Google, the search engine company. Dog-friendly offices are combined with a dog-themed cafe and an in-house group of employees who are dog enthusiasts called the Dooglers.
- Build-A-Bear Workshop, a soft toy retailer. Once an employee signs a Doggy On-Boarding agreement containing basic rules, their dog can come to work. Dog birthday parties, treats, and a spa and grooming service are offered.
- Autodesk, providers of design software for architects. Dog-friendly offices with rules to protect the human staff who have pet allergies, along with discounted pet insurance.
- GoDaddy, a web hosting and domain name service. On-site psychology services using assistance dogs.
- Workday, makers of finance and human resources software. Dog-friendly offices, an annual Take Your Dog to Work party, and financial assistance to help employees with pet adoptions.
- Activision Blizzard, a gaming company where approximately 395 dogs come to work every day. During the annual “Pet Parents Day,” the company brings in pet insurance providers and local vets to provide free health screenings, insurance quotes, and treats for both pets and their humans.
Rachel: Print out this post and have Nick bring it to work with him!
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand