Dogs have been man's best friend since we were sitting around fires worrying about hungry lions. But these days, Americans are taking their affection for their furry companions to a whole new level.
It's not just your Instagram feed. Millennials in particular really are obsessed with their dogs, spending $400 on pooch-size puffer jackets and telling pollsters they consider their "fur babies" practice for the real thing. If you want to read more stories in this vein, there are plenty.
Employers are wising up to this reality and using it to attract in-demand young employees. With a host of pet-centric benefits from subsidized pet insurance to on-site dog parks and bereavement leave for the loss of a beloved companion, companies are weaponizing America's dog obsession in the war for talent.
Dogs at work: The ultimate perk?
Who's doing this best? Pet-sitting site Rover.com recently aimed to find out, surveying more than 1,000 employed Americans about their workplaces' attitudes to dogs, and reviewing the benefits offered to pet owners at 100 top companies. The resulting rankings contain plenty of expected names, such as pet food manufacturers, but also a handful of surprises, including the company that tops the list:
Nestle Purina Petcare
Petco Animal Supplies
Amazon knows what it's doing.
You might be surprised to see Amazon, which has taken heat about how it treats some of its human employees, atop this list. But whatever its failings toward two-legged workers, the company apparently lavishes perks on employees' 6,000 or so dogs, including a dog deck complete with fake fire hydrant at its HQ and an annual "Barktoberfest," including a doggie Halloween costume contest. (Check out this Quartz article for more details about the ranked workplaces' lavish pet-friendly perks.)
That's adorable but also clever. The online behemoth has already demonstrated it will go to extreme lengths to attract talent and keep employees productive (up to and including installing a fake rain forest with 40,000 plants at it's Seattle offices). Pets at work, Amazon surely knows, have been shown by science to boost collaboration and empathy and reduce stress. The walks required aren't half bad for employees' healthy or creativity either.
As long as your co-workers are free of allergies and animal phobias, maybe you can follow Amazon's lead, making your own company more dog friendly (or talk your boss into it by showing her this ranking). Celebrating National Take Your Pet to Work Day on June 21 could be the perfect way to start.