Is ‘Pawternity’ the Hot, New Office Perk?

Let's hope this trend is here to stay.

Courtesy of Elles Rijsdijk / EyeEm / Getty Images 

By Jillian Kramer

It’s time to expand your family, and you’re excited to bring home this bundle of joy. But it’s not a baby we’re talking about—it’s a fur baby, the dog or cat making you a pet parent for the first time. And like any new parent, you need some time off to acclimate to the situation.

After all, walks, house training, and play time take a lot of time. And that’s why some offices are offering “pawternity” leave, paid time off to spend with your new puppy or cat, reports show. Companies offering the leave include Mars Petcare, Mparticle, BrewDog, and more.

“Pawternity is essentially the equivalent of maternity or paternity leave but for a new pet parent,” explains The Farmer’s Dog cofounder Brett Podolsky, an advocate for pawternity. “People spend this time off work bonding with their pets and training them as they adjust to their new environments. I started teaching my dog basic commands and tricks starting the day I brought her home when she was 10 weeks old. Dogs, especially working breeds, love to learn things. Teaching them tricks and obedience is a great bonding experience.”

At Mars Petcare, employees get 10 hours of paid time off to spend with a new pet. (Plus, the new fur baby is welcome at the office any time.) At Mparticle, employees can take up to two weeks of paid time off if they adopt a rescue dog; and BrewDog offers a week of paid leave.

“Taking time to bond with your dog is especially important in the beginning,” according to Podolsky. “We understand a new puppy is our pet, but a dog doesn’t know who you are to them when you meet. You need to earn their trust and let them know they can rely on you.”

BitSol Solutions, a Manchester-based firm, is another company that offers pawternity—up to a week off for a new pet. And Podolsky believes more companies will offer the perk soon.

“Pets are like children to people, and offering pawternity is a way to show your employees you care about their relationships, happiness, and well-being outside of work,” he explains.

But pawternity is certainly not the only cool perks some offices offer. Here are nine places offering everything from shuttles services to escape rooms, volunteer time off, and more.

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Originally published at www.glassdoor.com

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