Pet-Friendly Workplaces Improve Employee Morale And Retention

Pet-friendly workplaces improve the morale and retention of employees, according to a new survey.

Research has found that employees who bring their pets to work tend to have lower stress levels by the end of the day, and that their pet can help reduce blood pressure, decrease loneliness, help lower cholesterol levels and encourage physical activity, according to a release.

The survey called Pets At Work, done by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), an independent research company and commissioned by Purina, found that  pet-friendly work environments are viewed as both exciting and innovative, and even discovered that more than half of dog owners in pet-friendly workplaces bring their dog to work at least once a week in addition to lunch meetings, work parties and meetings with their boss.

Pets at work more valuable than free coffee and parking

The data on pet friendly workplaces comes from a recent survey conducted May 11-16, 2017 among 1,004 U.S. general population respondents currently employed, including those who work in pet-friendly workplaces. 

Employees at pet-friendly organizations ranked having pets at work second in terms of most valuable work benefits – ranking higher than free coffee and parking.

Additional findings about pet-friendly workplaces from the report:

  • 63 percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces indicated they are "very satisfied" with their work environment – and this is nearly twice as many as those in workplaces where pets are not allowed
  • Eight in ten people in pet-friendly workplaces also say that having a pet at work would make them feel more happy, relaxed and sociable
  • 65 percent of employees at pet-friendly workplaces say that it is important to them that a potential employer allows pets
  • 19 percent of cat owners in pet-friendly workplaces bring their cat to work daily; 20 percent of dog owners bring their dog daily
  • One in three people in non-pet-friendly workplaces wish they could bring their pet to work

Three out of five employees wish they had pet-friendly workplaces

pet friendly workplaces improve employee morale and retention

"Pets bring a wealth of benefits – both physical and emotional – to pet owners and their families, so it's no surprise those same benefits also apply to the workplace and employees," Dr. Kurt Venator, DVM, PhD, and Purina's Chief Veterinary Officer, said in the release.

 "Whether a pet helps provide a calming sense during a challenging situation or encourages employees to take a walk during their lunch break, here at Purina, we experience the benefits of pets at work every day and want others to as well.

 "Based on the findings in the report, three in five of those surveyed who wish their workplace had a pet-friendly policy said they would spearhead efforts to make it happen," Venator said.

 "With that said, our hope is that the annual report will continue to raise awareness and arm employees and employers with insight that can help facilitate pet-friendly environments within their companies," he said in the release.

Purina released the report In celebration of National Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 23.

For almost 20 years, Purina has encouraged its associates to bring their pets to work, while recognizing the positive impact pets can have in a professional environment. The pet food maker wants other companies and organizations to follow suit and open their doors to pets, according to the release.

 To help other employers who are considering starting their own Pets at Work program, Purina has created a digital toolkit with tips and tools such as office checklists, signage and authorization forms. The free toolkit is available for download at

About Nestlé Purina PetCare

Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.

About the Survey

Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), an independent research company, conducted the poll on behalf of Purina, distributing 1,004 total online interviews among U.S. general population respondents who are currently employed, including those who work in a Pet-Friendly workplace, between May 11-16, 2017. Randolph T. Barker, Janet S. Knisely, Sandra B. Barker, Rachel K. Cobb, Christine M. Schubert, (2012) "Preliminary investigation of employee's dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 5 Iss: 1, pp.15 – 30.

Photo credit top LightFieldstudios and photo credit bottom Humonia via