Pets bring people so much joy – few things can compare to the feeling of coming home to an excited pet after a long day at work. The benefits of our furry friends extend beyond our personal lives, ranging from the reported health benefits of pet ownership to the lifesaving work of therapy and service animals. Now, new research suggests our four-legged companions may have the potential to help shape us as professionals and improve our careers.
A recent survey conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest general-veterinary practice in the U.S., explored the effect pets may have on C-suite executives and working professionals. The study revealed a correlation between pets and professional achievements: 93 percent of U.S. executives surveyed grew up with a pet, and 78 percent attribute their career success, in part, to owning a pet as a child.
Brian Garish, president of Banfield, a division of Mars, Inc., agrees the special bond between people and pets can have an impact on personal and professional development. “From the pet ownership lessons we learned as children to the ways our four-legged friends currently help us evolve, connect with others, and stay grounded, our latest research supports the notion we’ve had all along – that there may be a link between pets and their ability to help shape us as people.”
Leaders of the Pack
Most executives surveyed agree they learned valuable lessons through pet ownership, regardless of the type of pet they owned. Childhood pet-related chores and responsibilities — such as feeding, cleaning and grooming pets — reportedly helped these leaders develop skills like multitasking, organization, and identifying and anticipating business needs. Nearly a quarter of respondents said their childhood pet taught them more valuable lessons than their first internship, which speaks volumes about the tremendous educational opportunities pets can offer.
The Art of Success
Many leaders also felt having a childhood pet unlocked vital lessons in creativity. Eighty-four percent of surveyed executives who grew up with a pet said they’re creative, and almost three in five credit their childhood pet for having a positive impact on their ability to think outside the box. And the benefits don’t stop there – more than 75 percent of those same respondents said walking a pet helps them brainstorm business ideas and boosts creativity at work.
Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks
But what about those who didn’t grow up with a pet? Banfield’s survey also suggests current pet ownership may go a long way in the workplace. For example, pets may help people stick to a routine and build better relationships with co-workers and clients.
Pets may also contribute to cultivating the next generation of leaders. Nearly all surveyed C-suite executives agree encouraging children to be involved in taking care of the family pet may add to their potential for success and help foster leadership roles later in life. Pets, at any stage of life, may help us become better leaders.
This article was paid for and posted by Banfield Pet Hospital.