Pets at Work: Getting Started

Over the years, we have discovered that having pets in the office has led to increased employee satisfaction and retention, decreased stress, and a positive work environment. We’ve had some bumps in the road, sure, but we’ve learned from them and fine-tuned our policies to make it work. While most of our employees are pet owners, some are not – and we make our policy work for both groups. We want to help you get started so you can enjoy the benefits we’ve enjoyed for over a decade.

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The Importance of a Pet Policy

One of the most important ways we ensure a seamless integration of our employee pets into the workplace is with our finely-tuned Pet Policy. This policy is overseen by a designated Pet Team of employees, including those with veterinary clinic and pet care facility experience, Close up of a ginger colored catwho provide guidance and review incidents – helping to create a safe and productive environment for both employees and pets.

Employees at Trupanion have a clear understanding of our office pet rules which apply equally to everyone from interns to executives. New pets that have been owned for at least 30 days are given an orientation in which behavior is evaluated and rules are reviewed. Currently, we have a 1:3 pet to employee ratio, one of the highest in the country!

Templates to Get Started

We are happy to share the following templates, included in our pet policy, which hopefully will help get you started in creating your own streamlined pet-friendly workplace.

Getting Started Checklist

Red checkExecutive buy-in
The first hurdle to cross is to get the executive team on board. You will need executive support to create a great pet-friendly environment.
Red check Landlord approval
Once you have buy-in to move forward, the next step is to check with your building’s landlord. Is there a building policy that disallows pets?

Check out tips for gaining landlord approval.
Red check Pet policy created
The next big piece of the puzzle is developing a comprehensive pet policy that leaves no room for interpretation on rules and regulations.
Red check Pet-proofing completed
Before allowing pets in the office, it’s important to pet-proof. This includes incorporating baby gates or tethers, and hiding electrical cords.
Red check Employees notified
Finally, the fun part – notifying employees that they are now allowed to bring their beloved pets to work! An orientation to go over the pet policy is also a good idea.

Perks to Consider

Two French Bulldogs from behindIf you are considering a pet-friendly workplace, or you already have a pet-friendly workplace and want to take it to the next level, you may want to consider offering some additional benefits that incorporate your employees’ pets. Options include:

  • Dog walking service
  • Doggie daycare
  • Pet insurance
  • Grooming services
  • Cat litter stations
  • Pet bereavement day
  • Pet training