Australia is a nation of pet lovers, boasting one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. It probably comes as no surprise to learn that 50% of Aussies live in a household with at least one cat or/and dog.

It has been proven that having dogs in the workplace has a positive impact on the mental health of your staff. A pet-friendly workplace helps to improve employee satisfaction, increases work ethic, and has a positive, motivating, and performance-enhancing effect.

They have such a positive impact on our wellbeing that studies showed Australian ownership of cats and dogs saved approximately $3.86 billion in health expenditure over one year.  

Since 1999, when the national ‘Take your dog to work day’ campaign was launched, efforts to integrate dogs into everyday work are taking on more momentum.

During the pandemic, people are realising just how important their pets are in their lives for both their physical and mental wellbeing. This should not only be an advantage in their home life, but also at their workplace.

More pet-friendly workplaces are needed

Many companies, large and small, have already taken this step and allow dogs in the workplace. The benefits are clear to see not only for the staff but also for the animals themselves. Of course, it is important to put in place some rules to ensure that everyone has clear expectations when bringing their pets to the office and that there is no disturbance to people’s work, however, once these rules are in place everyone will start to see the benefits.

Here are four reasons pets are good for your workplace health:

1. Lower stress

When you or your employees are having a stressful day, spending a few minutes playing with a dog or petting him can quickly dissolve tension.

According to research, the act of bonding with an animal releases oxytocin. This feel-good hormone helps to reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels (the hormone related to stress).

2. Feel more positive

Pets can boost the workplace mood. Playing with a pet can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine (the “happy” hormones), while also reducing levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Studies have shown dogs can help reduce anxiety and depression (though they are not a replacement for counseling and medication).

3. Lower your blood pressure

Whether it’s stroking a dog or gazing at fish in a tank, spending time with an animal has been shown to lower blood pressure and pulse rates. Several studies of people with high blood pressure have found that having a cat or dog around can be more effective in lowering blood pressure than prescribed hypertension medication.

4. Lower risk of heart disease

Pets can boost cardiovascular health, especially for men.  Research has shown that men with pets have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and therefore fewer signs of heart disease.

Not only do dog owners benefit from having a dog at works, but also non-dog owners who share their work environment with the dogs of their colleagues and ultimately also the companies themselves.

Many workplaces are creating a set day for people to bring in pets or a pet roster. As a company having a dog mascot for the office, is not only a great marketing opportunity but adds a positive experience for your visiting clients

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