Woof, meow! Pets welcome in the workplace | PetFirst
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Woof, meow! Pets welcome in the workplace

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
2 years ago

“Take Your Pet To Work Week” starts June 17, but every week is pet-friendly at our office. When we were founded in 2004 as a small team, bringing pets to the office was pretty easy. But now with more employees that means dozens of cats and dogs with different styles, personalities, comfort levels, house-training challenges and allergens. As the company has grown and evolved, so has our policy.

Are you interested in working pet policies into your own workplace? Here are some guidelines we’ve implemented that are effective:

  • Canine Code: We love every dog, but they do have to be able to work around other people and pets without excessive barking, growling, or overall disruption. Additional safeguards require that they always be with their human companion and remain tethered or behind a pet gate at all times.
  • Code Brown: This one is self-explanatory and means each pet parent cleans up accidents – and is responsible for any pet damage.
  • Vaccinations and other healthcare requirements: Pets must be up-to-date on shots and be spayed/neutered before joining the PetFirst workforce. A collar with identification tags also must be warn.
  • Be Super Scoopers:  Designated areas outside are for pets to do their business, but even there – clean up waste.
  • What about allergies? Human allergies mean that not every PetFirst employee can hang out with every kind of pet.  We offer separate work spaces for those with allergies and they are (of course!) free to love from distance and pet as they want.
Account Executive Megan Moehle takes a break to give Koda a belly rub.

“Koda has been coming to the office with me for several years now. Before being here, I worked in retail. Having Koda here means I don’t worry about him getting into any trouble at home and our walks at lunch keep us both alert and make for a nice mid-day break.”

Sales Agent Hannah Baird with her canine companion Hazel

Sales Agent Hannah Baird has seen a change in Hazel since she’s been able to be at work with her Mom. “She’s a rescue with separation anxiety. She loves to sleep at my feet at work. Shawn works across from me and honestly, he’s her best friend. Her leash is long enough that she can walk over and hang out with him when she’s tired of me.”

Animal health and wellness is our priority and we want employees’ pets and their owners to be comfortable, safe and healthy. We’ve discovered that a pet-friendly workplace is a big part of that. Some of our employees say that a difficult day at work is eased when their cat can jump up in their lap. And others say their dogs are less anxious now, since they don’t spend as much time alone. At PetFirst Pet Insurance, we know and love pets.

Taryn Pearson, PHR, SHRM-CP Director of Human Resources at PetFirst Pet Insurance

Taryn is Director of Human Resources at PetFirst Pet Insurance. You can find Taryn with Sadie, her 8-year-old Labrador retriever, at the PetFirst offices on special occasions.

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