Shauni James is a Rotorua Daily Post reporter

Pets at Work Day goes down a treat (+video)

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"Every day is a dog day" for staff at Interpine Group.

But yesterday was particularly special with workers celebrating the annual Purina Pets at Work Day.

Interpine Group's Melissa Waller said they had up to five dogs in the office most days so every day was a dog day for them.

"The dogs all interact together and it's good for them to meet lots of people."

The dog's names are Barnie, Cocoa, Finn, Toby and Scampy.

She said it gave the office a nice feeling and atmosphere.

They had also had a pet lamb at the office before, and the staff's children came and did bottle feeding, she said.

Ian Wilson said he thought bringing pets to work was "absolutely brilliant" and meant you got to spend time with them during the day, rather than just in the morning and evening.

"I think if you're a dog person they are like children to you."

Sarah-Pitcher Campbell said the dogs "put a smile on your face when you get up for a break" and got them outside too, with her often taking Toby for runs at lunch.

Interpine Group general manager David Herries said his dog, Cocoa, had been there the longest and had been running around the office since she was six weeks old.

He said it took a bit of stress out of doing the analytical work they do, and the park environment around their office suited taking the dogs for a walk during lunch.

Mr Herries said from a professional point of view they had to be careful they still had a professional interface when clients came in, but it also broke some initial barriers by providing a discussion point.

"It would be fair to say my dog leaps into the ute every morning, she's excited to come to work every morning and interact with the other dogs."

According to a recent survey conducted by Purina, 85 per cent of office workers are not allowed to bring their pet to work.

Of those, a quarter said they would definitely welcome a change in their office's pet policy.

The survey also found people who bought a pet to work smiled more often, were friendlier and got along better with their colleagues.

Purina marketing head Jennifer Chappell said pets in the office had proven to reduce stress, boost employee engagement and even made workplaces healthier by encouraging regular breaks outside.

Ms Chappell said Purina Pets at Work Day was an opportunity for employers to give a pet-friendly policy a go.

"It can be a trial run to see how the office goes with some furry friends around.

"The first time they come in is of course very exciting, but pets sleep a lot, and once you've settled down at your desk for the day they're usually pretty quick to nap."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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