(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!"
“No matter the season, it’s always a moving and emotional experience when a puppy finds a new home,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer at PetSmart. “Our passionate associates are available to help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they can live more fulfilled lives.”
To help puppy parents welcome their pets home – and keep New Year’s commitments – PetSmart, the largest specialty pet retailer across North America, offers this expert advice on nutrition, socialization, essentials and health care to help keep pets happy and healthy.
Find a Veterinarian
ID Your Pet
Pup-Proof Your Home
Give Puppies Their Own Space
Give Your Dog Time to Acclimate
Invest in Training
Find more tips for welcoming a new pet into your home this year at PetSmart.com or download PetSmart’s mobile app, which tailors content to help guide pet parents based on your pet profile.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
This article was published in the Apr-May-June 2017 issue of Paradise Pets Magazine, Ketchikan, AK
You can read the entire issue FREE: http://issuu.com/publishinparadise/docs/parpetsktown0417-digital
Ideas for Training Your Pet
(Family Features) From puppies who’ve just been welcomed into the family, to loyal companions who’ve been providing happiness for years, Americans take serious pride in canine family members.
While everyone loves their four-legged friend within the home, they may not receive such a warm welcome from the neighborhood. Poor social etiquette may be a source of disruption in the community. As a pet parent, it’s important to take the time to correct such behavioral issues such as barking or not staying when instructed. There are tools and steps to follow that will help take your dog from bothersome to beloved.
First, identify the factors surrounding your dog’s barking. Is it more common during the day or at night? Are there triggers nearby such as people, animals or machines? According to the ASPCA, some barking issues can be resolved by removing problematic objects or noises. If the problem can’t be fixed by removing objects, have your dog checked to make sure that he or she isn’t suffering from a health issue.
Using tools and proper training together is often the best way to bring barking under control. Products that feature audible deterrents are oftentimes a good way to stop incessant yapping from a dog. Tools like the First Alert™ Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent use safe, pet-friendly ultrasonic technology that detects barking and emits sound to help control it.
According to the ASPCA, the hardest to achieve but most effective training tip to control your dog when it attempts to run or chase is establishing a call that works. To train your dog, simply practice the specific call repeatedly for as long as it takes until the dog begins to adapt. Each time you make the call toward your dog, reward him or her with a treat to set firm expectations that coming when called is a positive thing. Try practicing this training exercise while on a walk. If your dog begins to wander, simply pat your legs and call it for a treat to set expectations that your dog should stick close to you when outside. Keeping a training tool with you can also be handy in case your dog decides to ignore a command or call. Using a tool like the First Alert™ Bark Genie Handheld Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent utilizes the same pet-friendly technology and allows for more precise training control over your dog.
First Alert for Pets Bark Genie™ products are available at Walmart stores nationwide. For more information, visit www.firstalertforpets.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Get your dog from nuisance to neighborly
There's a reason why they are called fur babies. From tiny puppies to large hounds, Americans take serious pride in canine family members. In fact, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) there are about 70-80 million dogs in homes across the country. And although they may be a more-than-welcome addition to the family, they may not receive such a warm welcome from the neighborhood - leaving owners to wonder what might be causing some hairs to stick up on end. The answer could be simple: poor social etiquette.
No one likes to consider their dog as a source of disruption in the community. While enjoying relaxing evening walks together or playing in the backyard, people may never consider the behavior of their dog to be a problem, especially if its disposition is friendly around people. But if watched closely, they may notice he or she is coming across as a nuisance - meaning it might be time to correct behavioral issues such as barking, jumping or not staying when instructed.
If you feel like your little pup could cause a commotion in the neighborhood, don't fret! There are tools and steps to follow that will help take your dog from bothersome to beloved.
Oftentimes, the most disruptive action by a dog is also the hardest to control: barking. From sounding the alarm to separation anxiety, dogs use barking as an alert system. But it also is known as one of the most common causes for frustration among neighbors. To get barking under control, consider the following training tips:
Does your dog jump on strangers? If instructed to stop, does he or she listen? Jumping and tackling can be perceived as aggressive behaviors and can give off the appearance that you might not have complete control of your dog. However, unlike barking, bouncing or jumping is even more controllable by training. If the problem exists with your pup, the ASPCA provides the following tips to correct the problem:
If your dog doesn't have a jumping or barking problem, he might have a problem with running free. Between the front yard, backyard and entire neighborhood, there's just so much to see! But this can be extremely invasive and bothersome to other neighbors. If your dog commonly attempts to break free during a walk or run, or tries to get loose from the yard or house, try the following steps to control the behavior:
First Alert for Pets Bark Genie(tm) products are available at Walmart stores nationwide. For more information, visit www.firstalertforpets.com .
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Source: First Alert | Family Features
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