Common Barriers to Pet-Friendly Workplaces

Whether through a lack of pet-oriented benefits or a lack of pet-friendly policies, many workplaces are poorly equipped to accommodate the needs of pets and their owners. Fortunately, more workplaces are embracing the benefits pets have to offer their employees.

If you are looking to adopt pet-friendly policies in your own workplace, consider some of these common barriers to their development and implementation.

Lack of Buy-in

The perks of pet-friendly workplaces are many, but unless everyone in yours is on-board with doing more to support pets, you may run into issues implementing any pet-friendly policies.

Talk with your co-workers about pet-friendly policies, including what you hope to gain from their adoption. Listen carefully to their feedback and use it to determine what your organization’s priorities are.

Only after you’ve got a good understanding of what your co-workers are most interested in, engage your organization’s leadership about steps toward implementing them.

Lack of Pet-Friendly Facilities

Even if your co-workers are on-board with the idea of pets in the workplace, you’ll need to make sure your workplace can accommodate them. This includes making sure there’s at least one regularly maintained pet relief station on-site.

Workplaces in leased buildings may require permission from the owner or building manager before pets can be allowed on the premises. Even then, additional insurance may be required to cover pet-related issues.

Lack of Formal Policies

Without a formal set of policies that outline how your workplace pet program will work, you may have difficulty dealing with problems should they arise.

Pet policies that are poorly defined or that lack an escalation process for staff and guests that violate the rules could invite bad behavior — from both pets and humans — and spoil things for everyone else.

Policies and programs that haven’t been thoroughly reviewed and approved by your organization’s legal and human resources departments may inadvertently violate federal, state, or local laws.

Want to Make Your Workplace Pet-Friendlier?

Check out our guide on developing pet-friendly workplace policies. Find out what you can do to make your workplace more welcoming to pets and owners alike.

Learn More

Mars Petcare's Better Cities for Pets™ program features a comprehensive set of materials and resources designed to help you develop practical strategies for improving the pet-friendliness of your community.

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