UK workplaces offer ‘pawternity leave’ to new pet owners

New dog owners take an average of six days off work

Pawternity leave, dogs, cats, annual leave, holidays, UK, Petplan,

A three-week-old Chihuahua puppy named Tom Thumb in a tea cup | Image: Andrew Milligan / PA Archive/Press Association Images

A number of workplaces in Britain are offering pet owners leave to look after their furry friends.

Just fewer than 5% of owners say they have been offered paid leave from their job to undertake pet owning duties.

Research from Petplan also says an increasing number of new pet owners are using their holiday allowance in what is being dubbed ‘pawternity leave’ .

It shows that one-in-five British pet owners are willing to sacrifice up to three weeks holiday time.

Some 25% of those who have both a cat and dog reckon it takes a month to welcome an additional cat or dog to the home.

New dog owners take an average of six days off work, compared to new cat owners - who take just half that.

But the majority of pet owners agree that a pup needs more care and attention than a kitten.

Isabella von Mesterhazy, head of communications at Petplan, says: “The rise in new pet owners taking pawternity leave indicates that people recognise the importance of settling in new pets with the right support and care”.

“The early days of a kitten or puppy’s life are a vital part of the pet’s early development – especially for them to become a proper member of the family”.