Pets over paychecks: Many workers considering quitting due to lack of pet benefits

NEW YORK — The Great Resignation may be over, but plenty of pet parents are still leaving their offices in favor of their furry friends. A recent survey of 1,800 employed pet owners reveals that almost one in 10 (7%) have taken the bold step of leaving their jobs in pursuit of greener pastures that promise a better life not just for them but also for their furry, feathered, or finned family members.

That’s not all — another 24 percent are teetering on the edge, contemplating a leap of their own to ensure their pets receive the care and attention they deserve. Welcome to the era where paws and claws are rewriting the rules of professional priorities. In fact, 60 percent agree they would consider leaving their job if it conflicted with their ability to care for their pet. 

According to the survey by OnePoll on behalf of Vetster, two in five (41%) would even be willing to take a pay cut in order to work in a pet-friendly environment. Only 39 percent of respondents believe that they currently work in a “very” pet-friendly workplace, and another 47 percent find that to be a high priority when choosing where to work. 

Results find that many employees would be more open to working in the office if pets were allowed to come (30%), if they were able to take sick days when their pet is sick (28%), or if their employer offered pet benefits (24%).

infographic about pet parents' worries

On average, pet owners think about their pets almost once an hour while they’re working — or about seven times throughout the 9-5 workday. Not only that, but they say they worry about their pet five times each workday.

This may be because 22 percent of in-office or hybrid working pet owners admit that when at the office, they’re more stressed about how their pet is doing at home than their work responsibilities. Interestingly, pets and their parents both struggle when apart from each other; 54 percent believe that their pet gets separation anxiety when they’re working in the office, and a similar number (47%) experience the same effects themselves.

The survey also polled pet parents with hybrid schedules or who work completely remotely. Of those, the average respondent takes five cuddles or play breaks to spend time with their pet throughout the work day. It also seems their pets are perfectly ingrained in their workflow — 59 percent of those respondents believe that those breaks are an “absolute must” for their work schedule. 

“With work models changing yet again, it’s no surprise that pet parents are feeling the impacts. Almost half (47%) of the respondents said they are likely to look for a new job due to the cost of caring for their pet when they’re not around. This is especially true for Gen Z respondents, as 62 percent say that a pet friendly workplace is a priority for them, almost twice as much as baby boomers (35%),” says spokesperson Cerys Goodall, Chief Operating Officer at Vetster, in a statement. “It’s important that employers find ways to work with their pet parent employees and find a way that allows them to balance both pet parenthood and their career.”

Eight in 10 (81%) working pet owners prioritize giving their pets the best life possible. They go about achieving this by spending lots of time with them (77%), giving them daily treats (63%), and making sure they get plenty of exercise (60%). At the end of the day, if it meant giving their pet a better life, respondents would sacrifice a promotion (16%) and even their job security (14%).

“Pet owners are showing us that pets are family, and that their ability to care for their animals is something modern workplaces need to accommodate if they want them to stick around,” says Goodall. “The data is in. Pet friendly workplaces are key to attracting and retaining talent.” 

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 1,800 employed pets owners (600 who work remote, 600 who work hybrid, and 600 who work in office)  was commissioned by Vetster between March 7 and March 14, 2024. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Comments

  1. I don’t want to work in an environment where people bring their pets. Allergies aside, not all pet owners are responsible.

    For example: We already have idiots bringing their smelly dogs into grocery stores and restaurants and play grounds — are they clean, dewormed? Who knows?

    Bad enough we have to deal with all of the fake service animals — people need to leave their pets at home.

    If you need to bring your dog into work — go work in a kennel.

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