Pawternity Leave

Puppy paternity leave is a relatively new concept starting in England with nearly one in 20 people being offered leave to bond with their new puppy. Now various companies in the United States are adding this concept to their benefit plans. It is a much harder plan to promote in the U.S. as they currently do not have a healthy maternity leave package.  Surprisingly, Canadians have not yet welcomed the Pawternity leave idea.

So what is Pawternity Leave?  Very simple.  Instead of bringing home a baby, you are bringing home a new puppy.  To some couples or people, dogs are lovingly considered and called their “fur babies.”

Pawternity Leave is starting to become a reality as so many people were taking holiday time to stay home to welcome and settle their new puppy in.  Employers realize that it is best to be flexible with their employees regarding their dogs as there is nothing worse than an employee coming to work on a Monday morning with their own sad puppy eyes worrying about the new puppy.  What is it doing?  Is it lonely?  Is it crying and scared?

The current benefits range from 10 hours up to three weeks paid leave.  This time can be spent hanging out at home and getting the puppy on the owner’s schedule, puppy training, getting the puppy used to its new family members.  This bonding is important as the puppy may need a lot of attention as it has probably just left its mother and first home and is now in a new environment.  These hours allow everyone to bond quicker and makes the employee less stressed about going back to work with a new member left at home.

Tania Sanderson, owner of Sole to Soul, agrees with Pawternity Leave and says, “I absolutely do feel that this is something we should all definitely receive. Our animals are our fur children and they truly need us when they are new puppies, sick or passing away.”

Want to get in on this type forward thinking work environment?  The companies currently supporting Pawternity Leave are pet-themed and dog lovers themselves who understand the love and bond between people and their pets. Many of the companies offering Paternity Leave are the companies who allow employees to bring their dog to work.  Once the puppy settles in at home, the employee is then welcome to bring their puppy to the office.  Employers know that employees who are happy are more productive.

So far, in Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart will allow their employees time off to grieve for their pet, whom they believe is considered a family member.  At this time, Shoppers does not offer a Pawternity Leave benefit.  It is beyond devastating to lose one’s dog, so a company in the U.S. offers employees paid bereavement leave when their beloved dog passes away.  This company is also looking into benefits for people who are faced with caring for a pet who is sick.

Pawternity Leave is not a traditional maternity leave and not recognized in Canada, do you think it should be?  Have you taken vacation time to bond with your new fur baby?  Let us know what you think of Pawternity Leave and would you take advantage of this benefit?


Author: Bente Nielsen, Karma Creative Solutions

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