Pets-At-Work Programs Becoming More Popular

Pet Franchise Applauds Business Efforts to Make Pet-Friendly Design of Corporate Offices

There is a reason that the pet franchise industry grew strongly in enterprise during the Great Recession. When the economy makes individuals more frugal, they turn to their pets for comfort—a less costly and very loving way for one to enjoy themselves. Instead of buying a sports car, people pet their dogs.

The numbers in the pet franchise are continuing to rise, and more business venturists are seeing the value of dogs. Many corporate offices are implementing pet-friendly designs, both in architecture and in company policy.

Having pets in the workplace helps strengthen company culture, increases employee morale, and productivity, and decreases stress– taking advantage of the therapeutic aspects of animals.

One of the pioneers of pet-friendly philosophy in the office is Vincent Bradley–CEO of Banfield Pet Hospital, a division of Mars. INC. Bradley and his dog Bingo (mixed breed Labrador), have opened the doggie doors for pets to be involved in places of business.

This pet franchise article discusses Banfield’s model of Pets-at-work program (PAWS).

Shake PAWS at the Top

For a company to have a successful pet-friendly atmosphere, the company needs to embrace new policies holistically. Bradley suggests a rearrangement of cultural aspects of the company like new design elements, a commitment from employees, and most importantly leadership at the top.

A pet franchise, of course, has built in features for pet friendliness. Most office jobs do not. It takes executive leadership fully backing the changes for all levels of employment to accept dogs at desks.

Once a CEO and management are on board, everything falls into place. “You need buy-in at the top right from the get-go,” Bradley tells INC. writers.

Design for the Dogs

Banfield hosts three interconnected buildings linked together with walking trails within the 18 acre and wifi enabled workplace. These walk ways encourage collaborative work efforts, and gets employees away from their desk for dog walk breaks.

Breaks are imperative for corporate offices when protecting eyes from straining on computer screens, and allowing variations of posture to decrease chances of employees developing Carpal Tunnel.

Plus, it’s great for the dogs.  

The offices also feature a three-story dog ramp which helps make all areas of the building accessible to dogs and their parents. Button activated watering stations pump hygienic water for thirsty dogs.

Banfield also incorporates a bring-your-own-bed policy for dogs to lay in while their owners work and an on-site dog park for dogs to exercise and play.

Sounds like paradise to those in the pet franchise.

Implementation of PAWS; All Dogs Go to the Office

Bringing your dog to work can be problematic. Ask any Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique shop owner, dogs are amazing, but require some accommodation to make sure dogs and employees are comfortable and safe.  Again, this is a cornerstone for the pet franchise, but will take some evolving for other sectors to pursue. Company-wide policies that are concise and enforced must take place for a pet-friendly culture to exist.

How Banfield did it:

  • In-depth behavior assessment of dogs to certify them for the workplace which is conducted by a dog trainer.
  • Vaccination requirement.
  • Leash policy with a color code system that visually shows dog owners that other pets are certified, and the approachability of the dog.
    • Green Leash=Pet is routinely friendly with people and dogs.
    • Yellow Leash=Suggests it’s best to ask pet owners before petting or allowing dogs to say hello.
  • Associate education to safeguard that dogs are house trained and have proper obedience training.
  • Additional training is provided for pets that do not receive certification their first time.
  • An on-site animal behaviorist is available to assist with pets.
  • A PAWS committee settles any disputes or issues involving a dog in the building.

Assessment is completed by a professional dog trainer, and currently, 200 of Banfield’s employees have their dogs certified.

61% of dogs certified received green leashes, with 34% receiving yellow leashes. Bradley has a yellow leash, “to give him a little more space and to let other associates see that there’s nothing wrong with having a yellow leash,” Bradley tells INC writers.  

We in the pet franchise at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique cheer on Banfield Pet Hospital for innovating the workplace, and praise Vincent Bradley and others for making this happen.

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