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How Pets Lower Workplace Stress and Anxiety

Posted on Nov 3rd 2022


How Pets Lower Workplace Stress and Anxiety

Work stress and anxiety can have an undeniably negative impact on productivity levels, morale, and even employee retention, but did you know that bringing pets to work can help relieve these symptoms, plus improve the overall health and wellness at your company? There are many ways that animals can lower our stress and anxiety, from providing companionship and emotional support to taking employees’ minds off of their work worries. So can our furry friends have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing? The answer is a tail-wagging yes. In fact, studies demonstrate that employees who are allowed to bring their pets to work are more productive and report higher job satisfaction, so it’s clear that well-behaved animals can actually be a valuable asset to any workplace—rather than an indulgence. The bottom line? If you’re looking for ways to support health and wellness at your organization, consider allowing pets at work!

A women in a blue shirt with an adorable puppy.

Stress and Our Health

Stress is a major health hazard because, over time, it can lead to such a wide range of both physical and mental health problems. When we’re chronically stressed, our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode, releasing hormones like cortisol that can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, and even increase the risk for disease. Stress and anxiety also make it harder to focus, but pets, and especially dogs, can help your employees regulate their nervous systems, as well as their stress levels. Pets have long been known to provide us with companionship and affection. In recent years, though, it has also been shown that they can have significant health benefits as well. Aside from being great for our physical health and wellness, furry friends can also help your employees stay calm during stressful moments.

Health and Wellness

Health and wellness have become buzzwords in the corporate space, and for good reason. Employer-sponsored wellness programs lead to big benefits, like lower health care costs, increased productivity and engagement, and better team morale.

Here are four top benefits of having pets in the workplace:

  1. Reduced stress and anxiety
  2. Better communication
  3. Greater productivity and efficiency
  4. Higher levels of job satisfaction and employee retention

Aside from better nervous system regulation, and increased job satisfaction, pets can improve our health and wellness by providing us with positive social interactions, exercise, and playfulness. They can help employees relax under pressure, reduce loneliness, and give us reasons to laugh. Caring for animals can also provide us with a sense of purpose and general emotional security.


Surprisingly, pets can also help improve communication in the workplace. For example, when co-workers take breaks to walk or play with their pets, it gives them a chance to chat and get to know each other better in a less formal way. Pets can also be a great icebreaker for visitors, or new employees who might be nervous.

The Cuddle Hormone

Pets can also help to regulate our hormones. When we pet or cuddle with a dog or cat, our bodies release oxytocin, which is known as the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone.” Oxytocin has many positive effects on our health and wellness, including reducing stress and anxiety. Interestingly, interacting with animals has been shown to increase levels of calming hormones, like oxytocin, which can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and loneliness. And research has shown that petting a dog or cat even has the potential to regulate and slow a person’s heart rate.

A very small puppy.

Job Satisfaction

It’s not hard to see how pets in the workplace can increase overall levels of job satisfaction. We have some key elements to consider, like: companionship, playful enthusiasm, and more opportunities for employee socialization, spontaneity, and laughter. Additionally, dogs can serve as a source of motivation and inspiration, helping employees to feel more positive and productive in their day-to-day roles. Ultimately, the presence of a dog, or other pet, in the workplace can create a more enjoyable atmosphere that leads to higher levels of job satisfaction among your employees.

Worker Productivity

The presence of pets in the workplace has also been shown to have a positive effect on employee productivity. In particular, people who are allowed to bring their dogs to work tend to report higher levels of satisfaction with their jobs and feel more connected to their co-workers. Happy employees also tend to work harder. Further, studies have also found that dog owners take fewer sick days than companies with a no-pets policy. All in all, employees who bring their dogs to work report lower levels of stress. This makes sense because pets can help create a more positive and relaxed work environment, while boosting efficiency.

To summarize, there are a number of reasons why having pets in the workplace can increase productivity, instead of being a cute distraction. For one, it provides employees with a sense of social support and belonging. Pets also give people a feeling of purpose and routine, which can be helpful during times of stress. And finally, dogs and other animals are simply fun to be around! So if you’re looking for unique ways to improve your company’s health and wellness, consider allowing pets on the job. The results are in—furry companions can have a huge impact on your business.

Introducing Pets to Your Workplace

As you can see, it turns out that pets can play a role in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression—all of which can have a significant impact on workplace efficiency. If you’re thinking of introducing dogs to your workplace, though, there are a couple things to keep in mind. First, make sure your employees are comfortable with the idea and that there aren’t any allergies to consider. Second, create a space for pets to play and exercise that won’t be in the way of your layout, so people don’t trip over water dishes and stray toys.

Book an Event with Puppy Love

Whether or not you decide to allow dogs in your workplace, there’s no denying that pets can have a positive impact on employee productivity. If you’re looking for ways to boost morale and increase job satisfaction, but you’re not sure about letting your employees bring their furry friends to work, book a puppy event with us.

Booking a puppy experience for your employees is a great way to show them that you care about their wellbeing and want to help them de-stress. You can learn more about Puppy Love’s employee wellness packages by calling 925-269-7297, or book an event online by clicking here. We’re happy to customize the perfect experience for your team!