Offering ‘Pawternity Leave’ to New Pet Parents

Giving time off to help pets to adjust to their new lives.

Aug 7, 2022


Pet, Family, Happiness
Offering ‘Pawternity Leave’ to New Pet Parents | Giving time off to help pets to adjust to their new lives.

Any new dog parent can attest to it: bonding with your new fluffy bundle of joy takes time. Whether a young puppy or an older friend, dogs need lots of time, attention, and love to bond with their new owners and get used to their forever home. 

Recently, more and more employers have been recognizing this, too. That’s why some forward-thinking, four-legged-friendly companies have begun to offer paid leave for employees who adopt dogs

The origins of “Pawternity Leave”
The idea of paid time off for new dog parents was first brought to the media’s attention back in 2017. The aptly named Scottish company Brewdog has always been doggy friendly: as they say on their site, the now-international brand has modest beginnings, with its first employees in 2007 being “two men and one dog.” 

A decade later and ahead of opening their first branch in the US, Brewdog decided they wanted to implement new plans to make an even better company environment for its employees, according to the BBC. One of the ways they did this was by offering a week of what they named “pawternity leave” to all new dog parents in the company across all departments.

Gia of Columbus, Ohio, was excited to take a week off with her new pup told the BBC; “The policy gives me the flexibility to choose when to take a fully paid week off with Rye, which I'll be doing next month to get her fully house trained.” 

More companies followed suit
Five years after Brewdog’s new plan made the news, some more companies have adopted similar policies. 

Although  paid leave has been offered across differing industries, naturally some pet related industries have jumped on the pawternity bandwagon, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).  

The AKC gave two days of paid leave and three days of work from home flexibility to its new pet owning employee, Kassi McCombe. “It was very important to me to be able to devote those days to our relationship and making sure he was comfortable, safe, and well-adjusted to his new home and routine — I’m not sure I’d do it any other way!,” McCombe told AKC.

Most allocated pawternity time off ranges from 10 hours of paid leave to a full week to bond with the new pet, ABC7 reported. Among the most generous paid leave offers is tech company mParticle, who gives two  full weeks off to employees who rescue a dog or a cat from a shelter. This is a great incentive for employees to adopt older dogs rather than puppies.

Will paid puppy leave become the norm?
Offering paid leave for new pet parents has become increasingly popular over the last few years. “We offer maternity and paternity leave and a pet is just another member of the family. We don't discriminate just because they aren't human,” mParticle recruiter Laurel Peppino told The Times

While the number of companies offering paid leave to their employees when they adopt a pet or for pet bereavement is small, according to ABC7, as more people begin to understand how vital furry members of the family are, this will grow.

Why More Companies are Going to the Dogs
Boy Writes Sweet Letter to Puppy’s Forever Parents
San Antonio Pet Stores Can Only Sell Rescue Dogs and Cats

Rachael is a writer, poet, and editor who is fascinated by identity and empowerment. She enjoys romanticizing the mundane, reading in coffee shops, and hiking by moonlight.