Workers looking to impress their boss these days had better bone up on their petiquette. With 44 percent of American workers saying they've taken a pet to work, it's clear that four-legged friends have become an established fixture in the workplace. Businesses have rapidly moved beyond merely allowing pets in, to establishing pets-at-work policies that prevent Fido from biting the hand that feeds you.
According to an article in "All Creatures," the online magazine of www.VetCentric.com, an animal healthcare information and education portal, a few simple policies prevent animal lovers from turning a productive workplace society into something that more closely resembles the Humane Society.
Pet food maker Iams, is one company that allows workers in various departments to bring their pets with them on the job - as long as the animal doesn't become a nuisance. "We expect all employees to ensure their animals don't take away from a productive work environment," said Phil Crippen, director of human resources for the research and development division of Iams. "Most employees are very good about minding their animals and will stop bringing them in if the animal causes too many problems."
At snowboard manufacturer Burton Snowboards, dogs have always been free to walk the halls - unless they cause allergies. "Some areas have not been able to have dogs because an employee there has had allergies," said Rachel Tatevosian, facilities supervisor. "Obviously, the health of an employee takes priority over another being able to bring a dog."
Tatevosian admits that worker's dogs occasionally have "accidents." "Sure, especially with puppies," she explained. "But it's not a major problem. The embarrassment of cleaning up after their dog keeps owners pretty vigilant of when it's time to take their dog out."
Despite the extra vigilance required, Tatevosian insists that allowing pets in the workplace pays off. "Having dogs around the office is a great stress reliever," she said. "They're your buddy no matter what kind of day you're having, they give you something to laugh at and they're a great reason to step outside for a minute for some fresh air. They also make sure you don't waste any food at lunch."
To view the full content of the article, point your web browser to VetCentric.com and then select the "Magazine" icon.
VetCentric is an online marketplace for the animal healthcare community that combines a business resource center for veterinarians at www.VetCentric.net with a health care portal for animal owners at www.VetCentric.com. By uniting the veterinary medical community with animal owners and suppliers of animal care products and services, VetCentric provides better animal care, reduced owner stress and more efficient local veterinarian operations.
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