Choosing to get a pet is a huge decision, which is why it makes sense that some employers are offering perks for pet owners — especially since, in terms of life-changing moments, some people consider it right up there with having a baby. Many people find that a pet makes their lives infinitely more joyful, right from day one. "Pets enrich our lives in so many ways," Caitlin Ultimo, resident pet expert at Chewy, previously told Bustle. "No matter how bad of a day you may have had, it’s impossible not to smile when you get that welcome home greeting at the door. A dog will be your constant companion — and won’t care if you lost an account at work or didn’t do the laundry. They ask for very little in return, basic food and shelter, and are so grateful when you surprise them with a special treat or toy."
But pets are also work. They require a lot of time, energy, and money — and puppies are just little trembling balls of need for about six months. Fitting in being a pet owner around the rest of your life can be tough, especially when it comes to your career. Luckily, more and more employers are starting to recognize how important pets are to the lives of their employees. In fact, some of them are starting to make it easier and more straightforward to balance pet parenthood and a career, by providing pet-based benefits to their workers. If you're a devoted pet parent, here are some employee perks to keep your eyes out for.
1. Pet-Friendly Offices
Perhaps the biggest pet perk that you can get from your employer is having your pet right there at work with you. Pet-friendly offices (especially dog-friendly offices) are definitely trendy right now. Fortune reports that some major companies — like Amazon and Google — run pet-friendly offices, and it's also a favorite on the startup scene. If you and Fido are very close, don't be afraid to ask around about a potential employer's office rules — you might be surprised.
2. Pawternity Leave
You can get time off to bond with a human child, so why not get it for your furry friends? They're just as much work and twice as cute. Business Insider reports that "Pawternity Leave" — getting time off when you get a new pet — is an epic new perk being offered by some companies. Harper Collins, Brewdog, and more offer this generous perk.
"Pawternity leave is a natural step in developing our culture," David Rönnberg, CEO of Musti Group, told Business Insider. "Adopting a pet is a significant decision and changes everyday life considerably. We want to support our employees during their first days with their new family member and ensure that they can enjoy those precious moments to the fullest."
3. Pet Insurance
Pets may be an amazing addition to your life, but they can also be expensive. Vet bills — whether routine or emergency — can add up to be incredibly pricey in a hurry. Maybe that's why the New York Times claims that pet insurance is the hot new employee perk. You can rest easy as a pet parent knowing that your loved one is taken care of.
4. Doggy Daycare
If your office doesn't provide a space for your dog, then hiring a walker or putting your dog into doggy daycare can be expensive. But some companies are stepping up to the plate. According to Healthy Paws, companies like Genentech give discounts for doggy daycare to their employees, so you don't have to worry as much during your nine to five.
5. Discounted Goodies
6. A Pet-Loving Community
If you have a lot of other pet lovers at your office, that can be its own benefit. Apparently, Genentech also has a dog-lover club called gDogs, where employees can share their love of their pups — as well as some tips and tricks. And if you all have your pups at the offices, a group dog walk sounds very much on the cards.
Becoming a pet parent is a huge step — but some companies make it a lot easier to grow your furry family. Keep an eye out for pet-friendly offices and benefits that can help lower the stress and cost of a pet. Our furry friends deserve the best, after all.