A surprising number of people flake on their friends to hang with their pets

Just in time for Take Your Pet To Work Day, comes a new Onepoll survey of 2,000 participants conducted on behalf of Fuzzy Pet Health about all the pet parents that make a habit out of lying to their bosses, panicking and taking off from work, all on behalf of their fur children.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents in the Onepoll survey, confessed to taking the day off entirely to hang out with their pets and an additional 27% opt to work from home for the same reason.

“Time constraints are among one of the biggest hurdles for pet parents. But they don’t want to cut corners when it comes to their pets’ wellness. As a society, we’ve outsourced so much of the services important to making our life tick, it’s time for vet care delivered for the modern world,” Dr. Jess Trimble, who is the Chief Veterinary Officer for Fuzzy Pet Health explained.

Forty-six percent of the pet owners studied believe that there is limited access to quality veterinarian care near them. Nearly half of respondents said that they avoid taking their pets to the vet all together because it’s too costly. This particular stat might belie the impression that the majority of the respondents queried didn’t express a doting relationship with their animals, though this was very much not the case.  

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Three in 10 pet parents surveyed said they have flaked on their friends at least once in favor of their furry companions. Sixty-percent of pet owners commits to a full-on panic when they witness their pal swallowing a foreign object, which actually occurs with some frequency. The average respondent has seen their pet swallow a strange non-food item at least five times. The most commonly cited object reported was grass, followed by stuffing from toys and then toilet paper and bugs.  Forty-three percent of this group take their pets to vet even if they didn’t swallow something harmful. This breed of panic also sees many employed pet owners lie to their friends and bosses.

Furternity Leave

Some of the lies occasioned are understandable enough, like the 25% of respondents that admitted to lying to their boss about being sick in order to take their pet to the vet. Sixty-five percent of this same group reported doing so because they didn’t think their boss would deem pet care to be a valid enough excuse to miss work. Although corporate attitudes toward pet care are certainly changing, pet owners have been given more than enough reasons in the past to consider keeping the reason for their leave close to the vest.  

Take Maria Goodavage’s anecdote featured in Dogster for instance. In her meditation on the rights, employees have to request time off to care for their animals, Goodavage recalls her friend Maggie being told not to come back to work after she requested a sick day to take her dog to the vet from a livid employer. Goodavage writes, 

“It was horrible being at work knowing Oscar was all by himself except for my friend who went over twice a day. I just couldn’t focus on work, and got nothing done anyway,” she said. “Oscar was always there for me, and I wanted to be there for him.”

It should be noted that this report was written up a few years back now. Today the legality and culture applied to this dilemma vary by industry a little more than it did ten years ago. In my estimation, more times than not, as long as proper notice is given, most employers will permit pet care as a valid excuse for absence. The first Take Your Dog To Work Day, which was created by Pet Sitters International, was celebrated back in 1999, and saw 300 companies get involved, that number has surged considerably since then, with some firms like Amazon and Google, welcoming pets in their offices all times of the year.