It’s often said that pet owners see their pets as members of the family, treasured as much as any children and thought of as much as any family member. The pets of yesteryear provided certain functions as companions, such as sourcing food, whereas today, we ask nothing more than they be there as a companion in the home to comfort us, keep us secure, watch TV with us, make us laugh and simply be a part of the family. But how do we react when we think they may be falling ill?
Job security may be an issue we’re all too aware of these days but a recent survey carried out by Direct Line Pet Insurance and K9 Magazine uncovered that over 81% of Britain’s dog owners would risk their jobs by calling in sick if they were worried their pet was falling ill but only 6% would tell their boss the real reason for their absence. A massive 94% of those surveyed felt more comfortable saying they were unwell themselves.
The same pet lovers compared this to themselves where only 69% said they would call in sick if they themselves were feeling under the weather.
Adam Whiteley, Head of Direct Line Pet Insurance, said: “Most people consider their pet to be part of the family, so it’s no surprise that they would take a day off work to care for Fido or Fluffy, just as they would for a child. It’s a well-known fact that pets improve the quality of life for their owners, and employees who know their pet is happy and healthy won’t spend time worrying while they are at work.”
So what could be done to help prevent as many sick days being taken? Could Britain’s employers take steps to becoming more pet friendly?
Ryan O’Meara, publisher of K9 Magazine believes more can be done to follow in the footsteps of employers such as Google, known for their pet friendly policy.
He says, “The benefits of a pet friendly office are known to those who have had the benefit to take advantage of them. Well behaved dogs are always welcome at our office, we even have a ‘dog rota’ so it can be planned in advance. A pet friendly policy can be great at bringing a new vibe to the office and can act as a great stress reliever. A short sharp burst of fresh air from a quick walk can also be great for freshening the mind.”
(Chloe and Jackson, pictured above, K9 Magazine’s original office dogs)
Top Tips for a Pet Friendly Office
1) Always have treats handy. Some people may not be used to being around dogs all the time, this obviously needs careful handling and introduction to make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible.
2) Take your pet for a short walk every few hours to give them some fresh air and a burst of exercise.
3) Before introducing a full pet friendly policy, have a trial. Create a rota and have a plan in place for the trial so it can be assessed how it can work for you long-term.