(BPT) - It’s fair to call Charger a bull in a china shop. Well, at least a pit bull. The charming nine-year-old has a full-time job in the marketing department at dinnerware giant Replacements, Ltd.
“Charger’s been coming to Replacements since I rescued him from the side of a road as a puppy, so he’s really grown up here,” says Kevin Boyd. “Coming to work is great for Charger because he’s able to engage with people and other dogs so it’s really helped him become more sociable; he has so many friends who give him treats or want to take him for walks. Having him here helps me relax because I know he’s not home alone and really creates special moments in the day, like having him sit in my lap while I’m working.”
Charger is among dozens of pets you’ll find at Replacements. A walk through the warehouse and you’ll see dogs riding on carts pushed by their owners or perhaps encounter a cat or two. An opossum riding high on the shoulder of her human friend even graced the company's retail store with a visit.
Replacements implemented its pet-friendly policy more than 20 years ago, after Founder and CEO Bob Page received a dog for his birthday and couldn't bear to leave him home alone. Fast-forward two decades, and national and international media have repeatedly recognized Replacements as one of the top pet-friendly businesses in the country. The company invites all employees and customers to bring their pets to work or shop; in fact, Replacements’ front doors read, "All Well-Behaved Pets Welcome."
Gaining scientific support
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University spent a week at Replacements, focusing specifically on the impact of dogs in the workplace. The VCU team monitored stress levels among three test groups: those who brought their dogs to work every day, dog owners who left their pets at home, and those who do not own any pets.
"We were surprised to find that stress actually decreased throughout the day among those who brought their dogs to work, while stress levels significantly increased for those who left their dogs at home," says principal researcher Dr. Randy Barker. "About half of those who bring their dogs to work said their productivity increased with their dog present. Some employees even commented that the presence of pets increases cooperation and builds relationships among coworkers.”
Barker also notes employees overall had higher job satisfaction than industry norms. He believes establishing pet-friendly policies could be a great benefit that doesn't hamper a company's bottom line. "I think leadership in many organizations may be hesitant to allow animals in the workplace, but our study indicates pet presence may serve as a low-cost wellness intervention that may enhance organizational satisfaction and perceptions of support."
Getting started as a pet-friendly workplace
Replacements hears from large and small companies across the country wanting to start similar practices and policies. Their best advice? Start small.
“Consider having a pilot day to gauge how a pet presence works for your organization,” says Public Relations Manager Lisa Conklin. "You might try allowing pets for a half day or a Friday to determine the best fit for your employees and your business. Being pet-friendly is truly a huge part of our corporate culture — so many of our employees tell us it’s one of the best benefits the company offers."
Replacements' formal pet policy requires all animals must be current on vaccinations, polite to people and other pets, and stay on a leash near their owners unless contained in an office or cubicle space. Owners are also required to clean up after any accidents.
Conklin adds pet owners must be sensitive to the fact some people have allergies or may be fearful of animals. Likewise, other employees aren't allowed to aggravate or intimidate pets. "We've seen many instances where employees actually got to know each other better through their pets. Seriously, it's hard not to smile when you're greeted by a wagging tail and friendly face!"
(Family Features) Summer is officially here and while it may be the perfect time for family trips and outdoor activities, it’s also a great time to reset and make sure you’re keeping the whole family healthy, including your feline friend. By keeping your cat healthy, hydrated and active, your family will be able to enjoy more time together and get the most out of the season.
“For both people and cats, hydration, proper nutrition and overall healthy habits are imperative to fully enjoying the summer months,” said Dr. Ernie Ward, veterinarian and IAMS Cat spokesperson. “To live their best lives, cats need to feel healthy from the inside out and much of that stems from what they eat. It’s important to look for a premium cat food that includes high-quality protein to help your cat maintain strong, lean muscles and incorporate healthy vitality.”
These tips from Ward can help keep your cat active, healthy and safe during the summer months. For more information on establishing healthy habits for your furry friend, visit IAMS.com/visibledifference.
Focus on food – Cats are natural carnivores and need the proper amount of protein in their diets. Ward recommends IAMS High Protein cat food, which is formulated with 84 percent animal protein – more than the leading dry cat brand*. The high concentration of high-quality chicken and salmon helps maintain strong muscles and keep cats active.
Other key elements to look for in a high-quality dry cat food include:
Photo courtesy of Fotolia
Keep hydrated – Cats need to stay hydrated, especially in warmer weather. Make sure their water dishes are always full and place a few dishes throughout the house. If there are certain rooms your cat is drawn to or if the family is spending quality time in a different area, have water readily available so pets can easily quench their thirst and avoid dehydration.
Photo courtesy of Grace Atwood of The Stripe
Prioritize playtime – Though they tend to sleep a lot, cats need exercise, too. Playing a cat and mouse game with your furry friend is one way to give him or her necessary exercise and create a fun bonding experience. Toys that can encourage cats to get off the couch are a great way to get engaged in a little aerobic activity.
Photo courtesy of Fotolia
Eliminate clutter – Cats are curious by nature and it’s no secret that they tend to explore even the highest or smallest nooks in the house. It’s nearly impossible to keep an eye on your cat at all times, so it’s important to create a safe environment at home. Tuck cables and cords away, limit the amount of free-standing, sharp or glass objects and keep hazardous chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, locked away to help reduce the possibility of illness or injury.
*Based on Nielsen sales data and in-market packaging as of March 11, 2017. Comparison does not include specialty products.SOURCE:
(Family Features) Puppies don’t just make great best friends; they’re also awesome (and adorable) workout buddies. It’s important for both humans and pups to stay active, so the Pedigree brand is sharing fun, interactive tips and hilariously cute videos with fitness inspiration, perfect for owner/puppy bonding.
While you’re focused on keeping in shape, it’s important to also keep diet top of mind. A complete and balanced diet with a dog food that provides the proper nutrition, like Pedigree dog food, is needed for any pet, and especially important for puppies as they’re growing.
1. Canines on the Court – Let your pup play doggie defense in a game of backyard basketball. Dribble the ball around and watch your puppy opponent have the time of his life trying to steal the ball again and again. Check out the pup-letes in this video for some inspiration.
Photo courtesy of Fotolia
2. Group Pup-Dates – If you’re meeting up with friends for some outdoor fun, don’t forget to bring your pooch, too. You and your pals can break a sweat chasing your pets around, and the pups will get to expel some energy, socialize with their fellow pup-letes and create their own canine games.
3. Fetch Takes the Field – Give your usual game of fetch a soccer spin by kicking a soccer ball outside while your pup chases after it. He’ll love chasing after the moving target. Watch the sneaky pup-letes in this video looking to give their opponents a penalty.
4. Nama-Sit, Nama-Stay – Recent studies have found that owning a dog has an array of health benefits for both the minds and bodies of dog owners. Try out a relaxing and fun bonding experience with your four-legged friend by practicing the art of “doga” (dog yoga). At the very least, you’ll have fun trying new poses with your pup.
5. Race to the Finish – Let your pup run at top speed to see if he can beat you in a foot race. You might need to just let him win, especially if he has tiny legs like the all-star racing pit crew in this video.
6. Walk It Out – At the end of the day, there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned walk. Keep it fun and interesting for you and your pup by taking walks outside of your neighborhood every once in a while. Find a new trail or a local lake to stroll around. Your puppy will love taking in all the new sights and smells.
Paradise Pets Magazine