A recent study analyzed 12 years of health records from 3.4 million people who did not have history of cardiovascular disease (CVD). They found that those who owned a dog were at lower risk of death from CVD and other causes due to their decrease in blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
Additionally, dogs are known to decrease stress levels and benefit mental health. Multiple companies have begun to recognize these benefits and are allowing dogs to be part of an average work day. Businesses nationwide are opening their doors to man’s (and woman’s) best friend and are seeing the direct affect it has on their employees’ happiness.
Although small businesses have led the adoption of pet-friendly workplaces, larger companies like Google-Alphabet, Salesforce and Etsy are also curbing employee guilt of leaving their pet at home nine hours a day.
This benefit is particularly attractive to millennials, as they have been known to choose dog-friendly companies over their competition. Some businesses are going as far as adding pet insurance or “paw-ternity leave” to their employee benefits, which gives them a competitive edge in attracting top talent.
These trending dog protocols are seen to:
- Boost staff morale
A wagging tail is sure to brighten almost everyone’s mood. According to a recent study, employees who engaged with dogs had significantly lower stress and higher job satisfaction levels.
- Increase productivity
Having to walk the dog during the day gets employees blood pumping, which encourages a healthy lifestyle, leads to mental clarity and ultimately increases productivity.
- Improve trust between co-workers
Pets help create a social connection or can serve as a handy icebreaker, making co-workers more inclined to collaborate, connect, and work better together.
- Enable working late
Employees may work longer hours if needed because they don’t have to rush home to feed or walk their dog.
- Retain employees
The perk of having the ability to bring your dog to work is hard to give up. Don’t just take my word for it, there are plenty of examples of companies opening their facilities to our favorite furry friends. And they can vouch for these benefits. For instance, pets are entering hospital doors, as partnerships between health care facilities and dog assistance programs are booming.
The Johns Hopkins rehabilitation and ICU experts found that additional nonpharmaceutical interventions such as dog therapy have significantly improved the psychological status of many patients in their rehabilitation center. This is seen through patients’ ability to meet therapy goals faster when they participated in animal therapy.
Johns Hopkins believes so much in dog therapy benefits, that they welcomed the four-legged animals into the ICU with critically ill patients. These patients are typically hooked up to ventilators and feeding tubes, so the introduction of therapy dogs allowed for the humanization of the ICU.
Dogs are also accompanying their owners in the air and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is noticing. MSP is investing $1.6 billion into adding additional pet-relief areas to accommodate nearly 250,000 service and support dogs that travel throughout the year. This addition comes after the tightening of regulations regarding emotional support dogs on airplanes due to some pets being dishonestly certified.
With all the physiological and psychologic benefits that dogs are giving their owners, co-workers and hospital patients—it’s no wonder the dog-friendly trend is taking stake in many industries. As this trend continues to unfold, companies willing to accommodate may be seen to prosper.
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