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Employees sick as a dog? A four-legged friend could help

Having well behaved pets in the workplace would lead to employees taking less days off sick, according to over 70% of healthcare professionals surveyed by Blue Cross pet charity.

The leading pet charity carried out the survey with hundreds of GPs, medical consultants and therapists to show what pet owners have always known - that pets are good for our health.

88% of healthcare professionals believe that motivation and productivity would be increased by taking regular breaks to walk a dog. A Blue Cross survey of 1,000 UK employees revealed two thirds spend their lunch break chained to their desk – a stroll with a pet could be the key to increase a workforce’s output.

While healthcare professionals agreed that a pet could be an asset to a business, not all workplaces can accommodate one. With many working longer hours and irregular schedules, last year Blue Cross saw double the number of pets admitted because their owner was out all day. The charity is asking anyone thinking of taking on a pet to make sure they aren’t going to be forced to leave them alone for long periods of time.

Claire Stallard, Blue Cross Animal Behaviourist said: “We will all need to leave our pets at home alone sometimes, but many don’t like being left for long hours and can become really distressed. We ask all potential pet owners to consider what will happen to their pet during the day if they work long hours before it is too late and they find their only option is to give their pet up. Pets are good for our health, we owe it to them to be good for theirs! ”

Tullah, an 11-year-old Welsh terrier, accompanies owner Gerri Gallagher to her office at Tatler magazine. Gerri said: “Tullah is my ‘editorial consultant’. She has been coming to work with me for the last ten years and we get the bus in together every day. She is a real character and brings a sigh of relief and humour to us when things get a little stressy.”

Blue Cross is celebrating those pets lucky enough to join their owners at work. From pub cats to office dogs, the charity is calling out to find pets at work across the UK. Visit to find out more and register your favourite pet at work.


Notes to Editors

• Images of Gerri Gallagher and Tullah and other pets at work are available
• Blue Cross spokespeople available for interview, please contact the press office
• 70% of healthcare professionals think that having a well-behaved dog in the workplace could lead to employees taking less days off sick. (69.72%/350)
• 88% of healthcare professionals agree that taking regular breaks from the desk/pc to walk a dog would help increase a worker’s motivation and productivity. (88.05%/442)
• Over 60%/two thirds of employees spend their lunch break at their desk (61.3%/613 usually spend their lunch break eating lunch at their desk or usual work space)
• 46 pets were given up in 2013 because their owners were out all day, in 2014 the figure was 90 given up for this reason.
• Sick, injured and homeless pets have relied on Blue Cross since 1897. Abandoned or unwanted, ill or injured, pets turn to us for help every year. Our doors are always open to them, and with your support, they always will be.
• Each year, thousands of cats, dogs, small pets and horses turn to our animal hospitals, clinics and rehoming services for treatment and to find them the happy homes they deserve.
• Blue Cross actively campaigns to improve all aspects of animal welfare, working with the government, schools and others to improve the lives of pets and their owners.

Media contact

Louise Lee, 020 7932 4066 or [email protected]