TSI Blog

Having A Pet Is Better Than Popping A Pill

April 30th, 2014 by Alison McKinney

I recently read a great article written by the BBC about how bringing your pet dog to work can help alleviate workplace stress and lift the mood of employees.

And having come across this cartoon by Benita Epstein it got me thinking – the benefits of having a pet around are not necessarily confined to the office but all will have an impact on employee well-being.

Furry, feathered or scaly, us Brits have gained the reputation of being the Number 1 Nation of pet lovers (there could be an argument to this…), but what is true, is that owning and caring for a pet has many benefits, and it’s not just about unconditional love – so here we go:

Relieve Stress

As mentioned in the article above, playing with or petting an animal can reduce stress levels. For many people, coming home after a stressful day at work, and being able to interact with their pet is the absolute antidote to relieving and reducing the stresses of the day.

Reduce Blood Pressure

For the same reasons as above, animals can reduce blood pressure levels (unless you have arachnophobia like me!). At the end of the day, you might lose your job, you might lose your house, but you will never lose the unconditional love of your pet.

Pain Relief

Incredibly, pets have been known to be the best medicine, especially when someone is having to cope with chronic pain such as arthritis or migraines. Pet therapy is often used to help people recover from surgery and they often need less pain medication as a result.

Improve Mood

Like in the relief of pain, pet therapy is used elsewhere. Dogs are used to help soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and animals are often taken into care homes to lighten the mood and generate conversation and interaction.

Help Child Development

Kids that grow up with pets around them benefit in a myriad of ways.  Pets help with their emotional development and encourage them to focus on responsibilities through a predictable routine. While the sensory experience of holding and petting an animal can be calming for children with autism. Let’s face it, happy kids makes happy parents!

Help With Socialising

Just like an interest or hobby, you gain an affinity with people who are similar in some way. If you are a dog owner, taking your ‘pooch’ out for a walk everyday increases the chances of you bumping into someone else walking their dog. There can be more socialisation amongst neighbours with pets and having pets around develops a perception of a friendlier neighbourhood.

Now, we’re not qualified or experienced in giving advice about choosing a pet or looking after it, but we can certainly help with advice on how the well-being of your employees can drive employee engagement in your organisation. Want to know more? Then contact us on +44 (0) 1255 850051.

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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