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New Research Reveals 82% of HR Pros Believe Pets Play Positive Role in Employee Mental Health

By Pet Age Staff//June 10, 2024//

New Research Reveals 82% of HR Pros Believe Pets Play Positive Role in Employee Mental Health

By: Pet Age Staff//June 10, 2024//

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OnePack Plan, a leading group pet insurance product offered by PetPartners, and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) have announced the results of a survey analyzing the perception of pets and pet-friendly policies in the workplace. Surveying 1,021 HR professionals across the United States and Canada, findings demonstrate pets and pet-inclusive benefits at work have a significant positive impact for employees, especially relating to mental and physical well-being.

“Ninety six percent of HR professionals surveyed view their pets as an important part of their family, and 78 percent believe pet insurance is an important benefit to offer employees, citing employee wellbeing and morale as key drivers of this voluntary benefit,” said Michelle Yates, EVP of business development at PetPartners. “Despite this belief, less than 4 percent1 of pets are insured in the North America, proving that adding a pet insurance benefit would be truly valuable for many employees. While the connection between pets and the workplace may still be new for some employers, it’s clear there is a strong desire from HR professionals to be inclusive of pet-related voluntary benefits, such as pet insurance, veterinary telehealth, pet bereavement, and more.”

Highlights from the study include:

HR Professionals See the Value of Pet-Friendly Benefits

  • The Human-Animal Bond is Strong Among HR Professionals: 95 percent of HR professionals say they would do whatever they can to ensure their pet lives a healthy life94 percent of HR professionals believe their pet is an important member of the family, and 90 percent of senior HR leaders say if their pet required extensive veterinary care, they would spend whatever it takes.

  • Improved Mental Health Benefits and Personal Well-Being from Pets: 96 percent of respondents reported personally experiencing improved health from owning a pet – either mental, physical, or both. Furthermore, 82 percent have seen/heard firsthand employee mental health benefits of pet ownership and 81 percent believe pets can improve employee mental health – this rises to 95 percent for Gen Z HR professionals.

  • Pet-Friendly Culture Matters: 87 percent of HR professionals believe offering pet insurance is a good way for the company to show care and concern for employees and their families – this rises to 91 percent for senior leaders specifically.

  • Recruitment and Retention Spikes82 percent of HR professionals believe being/becoming pet friendly will help to recruit and retain the best talent – this rises to 85 percent for Millennial HR professionals.



There is a Clear Need for More Acknowledgement of Pets 

  • Underestimation of Pet Owning Employees: Despite 90 percent of HR professionals surveyed being pet owners and 72 percent having pet insurance themselves, respondents estimated only 53 percent of employees have pets. This demonstrates a significant underestimation of how many employees may be interested in pet-friendly benefits.

  • Lack of Pet-Friendly Discussions at WorkWhile 96 percent of HR professionals have personally experienced improved health from owning a pet and discussed the health benefits of pets with friends (65 percent) and family (58 percent), they’re less likely to bring those discussions into the workplace with colleagues (45 percent), their boss/supervisor (21 percent), or leadership (19 percent).


The Human-Animal Bond is a Driver for Pet-Friendly Benefits

  • Awareness of The Human-Animal Bond is High: Among all respondents, 7 in 10 are aware of research on the health benefits of the human-animal bond – and senior HR leaders are more aware than their middle managers.

  • Awareness of The Human-Animal Bond Drives Interest in Pet-Friendly Benefits: HR professionals who are aware of human-animal bond scientific research are significantly more likely to personally believe in offering pet insurance to employees, representing 85 percent of those surveyed.


“Companies that acknowledge the human-animal bond by offering pet insurance and related pet-friendly benefits are showing how much they care about employee health and wellbeing,” said Steve Feldman, president of HABRI. “The Human Animal Bond Research Institute is proud to partner with OnePack Plan by PetPartners to show how beneficial it is to have a complete benefits package that cares for our four-legged family members.”

The survey was conducted online by Cohen Research Group (CRG) in conjunction with OnePack Plan by PetPartners and the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) over a two-week period from February 22 to March 7, 2024, to advance the understanding of the human-animal bond with a specific focus on the importance of pet-friendly benefits and policies in the workplace. 1,021 HR professionals working for medium or large companies in the United States and Canada were survey – by design, half of the respondents work at companies currently offering pet health insurance to their employees and half did not offer it to them.