01 April 2016

Improving the health & wellbeing of pets relieves stress in the workplace

Pampered pooches to enjoy pawdicures, pet zumba and some puppy love in the office

As part of a drive to improve and health and wellbeing in the workplace, The Health Insurance Group, one of the largest healthcare specialist intermediaries in the UK, is backing an initiative to get pets into the office by seducing them with some five-star pet treatments.  The innovative animal-friendly programme, with initial pilots catering for man’s best companion, is being devised by a team of clinical pet behaviourists to deliver the best care a dog can expect when they come into the office.  Pawdicures, animal zumba classes, dog aromatherapy and special pet socialising apps are some of the therapies developed for dogs in the office while guidance on good health & safety practice will be available to owners.

“Apart from the obvious joy of companionship, there are scientific reasons as to why it is beneficial to have a dog in the office: they can keep employees active, reduce their stress and improve levels of job satisfaction,” said Jermaine Shepherd, pet scientist for The Health Insurance Group.  “A dog in work optimises opportunities for exercise, giving pet owners an excuse to get out and fit a walk into their lunch break, while a few playful minutes with a pet stimulates the production of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and stifles the stress hormone cortisol.  We also know that watching an adorable pooch has the capacity to boost morale and wellbeing – in some cases, worries and deadlines just melt away.”

Canine zumba is an animal-friendly version of the Columbian dance fitness programme to combat obesity among pets.  Pawdicures is a specialist spa programme for pampering a dog and includes exotic super-fruit facials, Swedish-style massages, soothing anxious hound aromatherapy and cosmetic paw pedicures.  More amorous dogs interested in socialising can make use of ‘dog-matchmaking’ apps to meet prospective partners or friends.

“Dogs will be barking mad to pass on an opportunity like this – who else gets to go to work and spend the day being pampered?” continued Jermaine.

According to research by Pet food company Purina, 82 per cent of workplaces do not allow dogs, but 50 per cent of us would bring our dogs to work if allowed.  The statement that the dog is man's best friend was first recorded as being made by Frederick II, King of Prussia, referring to one of his Italian greyhounds as his best friend.

Dogs in work considerations:

Always plan ahead and check with your fellow employees and managers that bringing a pet into work meets office policy and that no one has pet allergy issues.

Keep an eye on your pet's health and safety.  Are their vaccinations up-to-date?  Is there enough food and water to last him or her the entire day? Can the workplace be made pet-proof?  Ensure the environment is appropriate for a pet.