When pets are your business, it only makes sense you'd offer "pawternity" leave for employees.
Norwegian pet supply company Musti Group — the latest company to join this trend — is offering three paid days off to employees when they acquire a new puppy or kitten.
That early time together is important for bonding and can be overwhelming for the pet and the family, says Juhana Lamberg, Country Manager of Finland, Musti Group.
”Depending on the needs of each pet, the first days spent together can be rather intense, and sleepless nights are more than familiar to recent pet parents," says Lamberg. "A baby animal requires constant attention and unconditional love. Paying attention to a pet’s needs and spending time with them supports their learning, builds trust and helps prevent behavioral disorders in the future."
Musti Group is described as the largest pet supply company in the Nordic countries; 90 percent of the company's more than 1,500 employees have at least one pet at home.
They're the latest company to join this new pet parent trend. In 2012, Mars Petcare was one of the first to offer paid leave. The company, which is home to brands like Pedigree and Iams, gives staff 10 hours of paid time off to care for a new puppy or kitten under its "pet-ernity" policy.
A beer company gives pet breaks
In early 2017, a Scotland-based beer company announced it was also giving new dog parents an attractive perk. A new "puppy parental leave" policy at BrewDog offered employees who have a new dog a week of paid leave to get to know their new addition.
It was just another pup-friendly policy from a company that encourages employees to bring their canine BFFs to work. BrewDog was founded by two guys and a dog, and dogs have been a huge part of the company's culture.
"Yes, having dogs in our offices makes everyone else more chilled and relaxed — but we know only too well that having a new arrival — whether a mewling pup or unsettled rescue dog – can be stressful for human and hound both," the company announced. "So we are becoming the first in our industry to give our staff a working week’s leave on us to help settle a new furry family member into their home."
BrewDog's main Aberdeenshire office has about 50 "office dogs" that regularly go to work with their owners.
The "paw-ternity" leave perk applies to staff across the company, including a brewery planned for Columbus, Ohio.
"We’re not aware of any other American company giving a week’s leave to their staff to help build the bond between them and their dog, but then few other companies have four-legged friends at their center as we do," the company says.
James Watt and Martin Dickie started brewing craft beer together in their 20s under the watchful eye of the first brew dog, Bracken. Because they — and their early employees — didn't want to leave their dogs at home, dogs have always been an important part of the company's makeup, they say.
"Here at BrewDog, we care about many things, but have two main focuses above all others — our beer and our people. And over the years we have noticed that our people also care about many things but have two main focuses above all others – our beer and their dogs. We totally get that."
Here's a video that explains the new puppy-friendly perk:
Editor's note: This story was published in February 2017 and has been updated with more information.