Paw-ternity Leave for Pets?

You’ve heard of Take Your Dog to Work Day and maybe you’re even lucky enough to work at a company with a ‘round the clock office dog. But some firms are taking it up a notch with “pawternity” leave! You heard that right, that’s paid time off for new pet parents to care for their puppies.

Not exactly the same as bringing home a new baby, but puppies still require a lot of work, time, and attention. Puppies need frequent walking, playing, and house training especially. With a full-time job, many find it very difficult devoting the time needed for this crucial stage in a pet’s life – and companies are taking note.

The truth of the matter is, our younger workforce is waiting longer to have children, but pet ownership remains high. Companies are starting to realize the higher desire for better work/life balance among millennials, and paid time off for new pet owners, pet insurance coverage, and time off for vet visits are just a few of the many benefits being offered to stay competitive among young job seekers.

The first 16 weeks in a puppy’s life are critical in the successful assimilation into an owner’s home. Called the imprinting period, this small window of time is when pups are most impressionable. Especially between 8 and 16 weeks (pups 0-8 weeks are best kept with their mothers), your new puppy must learn to bond with you and learn your home – along with all the rules that come with it.

Your puppy takes the things he’s learned during this time, both good and bad, with him throughout his entire life. So you want to make sure you’re around to teach him all he needs to know! It’s great that companies recognize this and have updated policies to accommodate changing times.

The American Pet Products Association conducted a Pet Owners Survey in 2017 and found that in the US, 11% of pet owners said that their employers allow pets in the office. That’s over 1 in 10 pet owners with pet-loving workplaces – workplaces that might want to take note of this new trend of pawternity leave, if they haven’t already!

It’s no surprise that New York City leads in the number of companies adopting these more pet friendly policies. Along with paid time off for new pet owners, some companies are offering up to a week in paid leave in the event of a pet tragedy or death.

We’ve truly come a long way since Take Your Dog to Work day, and it’ll be interesting to see what comes next.