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Pet emergency service has been welcoming dogs into the office for almost 20 years
There can’t be many firms that have been welcoming dogs into their offices for two decades.
But here at Vets Now we’ve always believed pets and people are better together and that dogs, in particular, have just as vital a role to play in team bonding as their human colleagues.
That’s why we’ve had a dogs at work policy in place since the business was established in 2001.
Our intention has always been to make the workplace a more relaxing and enjoyable place to be and the feedback we’ve received from staff suggests it’s been a sound decision.
Mark Ross, chief executive of Vets Now, said: “I’d encourage any company considering a dog-friendly office to give it a go.
“I don’t think there are many businesses that have been welcoming dogs into their offices for as long as Vets Now.
“But we’re proud to have pioneered this and it’s proven to be a real boon for our staff. The whole experience has been overwhelmingly positive for us.
“There are several benefits to having dogs in the workplace. For example, research shows they help lower stress among staff.
“But in addition to that, studies show they also help increase cooperation and people who have dogs at their feet are perceived as more friendly and approachable.”
“It also gets people on their feet, away from their desks, helping foster discussion and collaboration.”
Created by pet health company HOWND, Bring Your Dog to Work Day encourages people across the country to bring their four-legged friends into the office in the name of raising money for pet charities.
The organisers claim having dogs in the office helps increase job satisfaction, team co-operation and morale among staff.
This is backed up research by academics at the Virginia Commonwealth University in the US who studied the stress levels of staff of a manufacturing company who brought their dogs to work.
They found these workers reported feeling significantly less stressed than those who did not bring a dog to work.
Another study, carried out by psychologists at Central Michigan University, concluded that office dogs help promote teamwork and trust among workers.
Laura Weir, a marketing manager at Vets Now, whose Labrador, Hunter, aged three, has been a regular canine colleague in the office since he was a puppy, said: “Being able to bring your dog to work is a great benefit to offer staff.
“A bit like childcare, juggling day-care for your dog can be expensive and a worry and therefore you have peace of mind having our furry companions with us.
“It’s also a real bonus for the dogs, helping them socialise with other colleagues and dogs as well as learning patience and obedience in an office environment gives you a well-balanced, happy dog.
“Of course, it’s great for us too. Having the dogs in mean we need to take regular breaks away from the desk to exercise them which we know helps with concentration and productivity.
“In our team, the dogs are an extended part of the gang — they all have their unique personality and place. Hunter is certainly a happy-go-lucky chap and his boundless energy and eagerness for anyone who walks past the desk to throw his ball certainly raises a few smiles and usually, time out to come and make a fuss of him.”
Aimee Richardson, Vets Now’s learning and development administrator, said: “Having dogs in the office makes it a more enjoyable place to work and helps to relieve stress.
“It’s also a good reason to get away from your desk now and again and to get some fresh air. I love the fact they’re always beside you for a cuddle and a play. They truly do become part of the team.”