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CANA's Pets in Business program launches for TYDTWD 2024

Pets in Business: A pet-friendly policy could be the boost for a happier and more productive workplace

  • Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 21
  • Australia CAN launches Pets in Business program to helps set up pet friendly policies in the workplace
  • 9 in 10 employees are highly bonded to their employer when pet-friendly benefits are offered*
In recent years, employers are increasingly welcoming pets into the workplace to reduce stress and improve employee retention. After all, studies show pet-friendly companies are more likely to attract, engage and retain employees*. Pets in the office also improve productivity and collaboration and alleviate employee stress and anxiety with their calming presence*.

In the lead up to Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 21), leading national animal welfare charity Companion Animal Network Australia (Australia CAN or CANA) officially launches its Pets in Business program to help employers set up pet-friendly policies that meet the needs of the business, non-pet owners and pet-owning staff.

“Now more than ever pets are an integral part of our lives,” says Trish Ennis, CEO of Australia CAN. “With many companies continuing to have employees split their working week between home and the office, it’s no surprise people want to bring their pets to the workplace too.”

Consumer research shows 85%* of Australian dog owners would go into the office more if they could take their pets. Plus, 63%* of employees in pet-friendly workplaces are “very satisfied” with their work environment (and that is nearly twice as many as those in workplaces where pets are not allowed).

“With work being a leading source of stress worldwide, employee satisfaction and morale are top-of-mind for most HR leaders, and pet-inclusive policies can help,” says Ms Ennis.

However, many workplaces are not prepared to have animals on site, with 64% of workplaces not having policies in place to support pets joining them, according to a global published study*.

“Creating a pet-friendly workplace involves carefully balancing the interests and rights of all employees, ensuring the welfare of the animals and managing the associated liability risks,” says Ms Ennis.

“Plus, not every workplace is suitable for pets; for instance, a warehouse or other area that operates high-risk machinery. Some animals are also prohibited, such as snakes, spiders and uncaged bunnies who can chew up cords! All pets need to be trained and not cause disruptions, such as
reactive dogs that tend to bark at other people or animals.”

CANA’s Pets in Business program provides FREE resources to support the workplace, such as Pet Resume, Pet Friendly Workplace and Pet Free Zone Posters, Rules for Pets and Humans, and Office Pet Roster.

Eastern Innovation (EI) 
is a co-working space (lead image) in south-east Melbourne with suites, labs and offices for more than 40 future-focused businesses. 

EI is a CANA Pets in Business pawtner, welcoming pets in the workplace!

Asked how the partnership with CANA Pets in Business was enhancing the pet-friendly experience for both pets and employees/clients, Liz Small, Engagement Lead, Eastern Innovation says:

“Pets make Eastern Innovation a happier workplace. The pets love the attention and pats, and the owners love the attention their pets get. 
Clients with pets seem to be in the office more regularly.
We initially had some people who were 'anti pets' in the office. Showing the pet-friendly policy and procedures that pets would be under made them feel more comfortable. Having a pet-friendly office is also a fabulous sales tool. Most people say that’s amazing. It’s a nice tool in our engagement with our new potential clients. We welcome more pets in the centre.”

For a donation, CANA can also set up employers with a branded Pets In Business kit that includes rules and regulations that meet the needs of everyone in the workplace. All donations go towards supporting the work of CANA member agencies.

“As some companies struggle to persuade employees to spend more time working onsite, implementing a pet-friendly policy might be the perfect solution for creating happier and more productive workplaces!” says Ms Ennis.

Puppy Bowl starring (L to R), Producer
Zac with Nellie, Paddy with Bear,
Maz with her son Henry and Happy
Triple M Central Coast (NSW) is one of these pet-friendly workplaces.

Maz Compton, Breakfast Host, Paddy & Maz explains “We often have pets in the office and are encouraged to bring our dogs into work any day of the week.

Having [our dog] Happy at work brings a smile to everyone’s face. He gets lots of pats and attention which he loves, and he gets to hang out with me during the day! 

I absolutely love it when any one of my colleagues brings their pet in to work. Of course, you need to be mindful that it is a good fit, the environment and the pup, to ensure that it’s a positive experience for all involved.

This year we hosted our first ever Puppy Bowl, a local spin on the Puppy Bowl which is hosted in the USA around the NFLs super bowl.
The idea being whichever puppy went to the Puppy Bowl first won! We had our listeners represented by each pup and the winner walked away with $500.”

For more information, resources or a branded Pets in Business kit, please visit

For tips to make your office pet friendly, please visit

Australia CAN represents the companion animal welfare work of member organisations across the country. The charity also celebrates the human-animal bond and promotes responsible pet ownership through national campaigns, partnerships and initiatives, such as Pets in Aged Care and Rent with Pets programs.

About Companion Animal Network Australia (Australia CAN)

Companion Animal Network Australia (Australia CAN) is Australia’s peak body representing companion animals. It comprises six member agencies, each aiming to make the world a better place for pets. Through national campaigns, partnerships and initiatives, we celebrate the human-animal bond and promote responsible pet ownership. We use our national voice to campaign for the humane treatment of all companion animals and we rally support for programmes that deliver high welfare standards. 

To discover more, visit

MEDIA RELEASE, 17th June 2024

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