March 23, 2007 -- Employees fretting over their pets can be a drain on workplace productivity, according Canine Kingdom, an Albany, N.Y -based pet-advocacy group.

As many as half of the nation's workers own pets and most feel guilty about leaving them at home alone when they're at work, the group said.

This week, Canine Kingdom launched an e-book on its website that offers free advice for employers on how to help pet-owning employees.

"Employers can play a vital role in increasing their company's productivity by easing the concerns of their employees and supporting the dog owner in managing daily care," Beth Close, the website's founder, said in a statement. "I would encourage employers to make this e-book available to employees in their internal communications."

Among other strategies, employers can help workers manage pet caregivers or make other home arrangements to keep pets healthy and happy, Close said.

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