Are pet-friendly businesses better?
When you get home from a long day at the office, the last thing you want to do is go out and run errands and socialize with people. Chances are you’d much rather sit on the couch with your family, pet your dog, and watch TV while someone delivers your dinner right to your door.
We’re working longer hours than ever, and retailers and restaurants are feeling the pinch as we spend more time at home. We have less time to spend with our pets, too. That makes it even more important to be home whenever possible to spend time with them.
But what if you could take your dog with you wherever you go?
Smart businesses are realizing that in order to get customers in the door, they’re going to have to take pets, too. If you’re planning to do the same thing, here’s what you should know about pet-friendly businesses.
The Power of Pets and Pet-Friendly Businesses
More than two in three households in the United States has a pet and that meant about 393 million pets across the nation— and growing. In 2018 alone, people spent $72 billion on pets, which works out to just over $1300 per pet parent.
Millennials lead the pack when it comes to spending on pets with an average of just over $1700 a year. People aren’t just spending record amounts on their pets, they are also willing to make sacrifices for them.
Three in four Americans are willing to make financial sacrifices for their pets:
- 92% would skip eating out
- 67% would skip taking vacations
- 37% would skip saving for retirement
People Want To Spend Time With Their Pets
After work and other obligations, there is an average of 4.5 hours a day to spend with pets. But many businesses are looking toward pet-friendly policies in the workplace so people can bring their pets along for the workday, leading to a greater work/life balance.
When creating a pet policy for your workplace, it’s important to keep in mind that health codes may prevent pets in places that serve food. Check to ensure no one in the workplace has allergies that would prevent pets from spending time in the office. Ensure that pets are well-groomed and there are pet-free areas like the office kitchen.
Pets should be vaccinated and in good health. They must be well-behaved around people and other pets. Ensure that everyone follows these rules and that pets that show they aren’t ready for the workplace are taken home quickly.
Adhering to a few simple rules can make the workplace more fun and more inviting. Allowing people to spend time with their pets during the workday can free up additional time outside of work to restore work/life balance. Plus, having pets in the workplace has also been shown to reduce overall stress levels.
Pet Policies For Customers Can Get More Business
Taking pets places requires a lot of extra planning. Most of the time, you can’t leave your pet in the car when you run errands. It will make it easier for you to get things done when you can just take your pet in with you.
There are some surprising places that allow dogs inside their stores. Some famous pet-friendly businesses include Sephora to Bloomingdales, Banana Republic to The Container Store, and Old Navy to LUSH. Rules vary by location so it’s always a good idea to check before heading in.
But who wouldn’t want to shop for your next lipstick or bathing suit with your best friend by your side?
Places like PetSmart and Home Depot have always been pet-friendly. Dollywood in Tennessee has a kennel called Doggywood to accommodate visitors’ pets while they enjoy all the rides. But there are also places that offer special treats to doggo visitors:
- Starbucks offers the Puppuccino – whipped cream in a cup for dogs
- Dairy Queen offers the Pup Cup – soft serve with a dog treat on top
- In-N-Out offers the pup patty – a plain burger patty for dogs
- Shake Shack offers the pooch-ini – vanilla custard with dog treats and peanut butter
See Also: The Booming Business Of Dogs
Smart Businesses Unleash The Power of Pets
People feel better about how they spend their time and money when it aligns with their values, and most people value pets very highly. Learn more about the power of pets in business from the infographic below.
Source: Hinsdale Humane Society
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Author: Brian Wallace
Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.