June 24 marked the eighteenth annual Take Your Dog to Work Day. To celebrate, Nestlé Purina employees brought 310 pets with them to work, beating the previous record they set in 2015 with 281 as documented by RecordSetter.com.

Five other pet-friendly companies collaborated with Purina to bring pets into the workplace on June 24. Together they brought 691 pets to work.

  • Petco: 253 pets
  • The Nerdery: 79 pets
  • Glassdoor: 28 pets
  • Outward Hound: 12 pets
  • Onion Inc.: 9 pets

“The record for pets in the workplace was made to be broken, and we’re stoked to help Purina break it,” said Tom O’Neill, CEO at The Nerdery, a longtime software partner of Purina.

Take Your Dog to Work Day was founded in 1999 by Pet Sitters International and has since expanded to include other pets. The event occurs on the Friday following Father’s Day.

For more than 18 years, Purina has encouraged its associates to bring their pets to work. Eighty-five percent of employees of companies with pets in the office say that pets at work policies are beneficial, according to a survey conducted in 2015 by Purina in conjunction with Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Some of these benefits include reduced blood pressure, a decrease in loneliness, lower cholesterol levels, higher employee morale, increased productivity and a boost in physical activity.

Pets help human health

Both in and out of the workplace, pet ownership can reduce stress and have other health benefits. A growing body of research provides evidence that pet ownership can help prevent allergies in children, alleviate stress for people suffering from high blood pressure and calm Alzheimer’s patients.

A study conducted by two researchers from George Mason University calculated that pet ownership results in US$11.7 billion savings in US health care costs. The researchers arrived at that figure by determining that 132.8 million US pet owners visit a doctor 0.6 times less than the average non-pet owner. With the average cost of a physician office visit at US$139, that comes to US$11.37 billion in savings. The remaining savings come from dog owners who walk their dogs five or more times a week. This group, totaling more than 20 million, have a lower incidence of obesity, leading to a reduction of US$419 million in health care costs.