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The Pets At Work journey

I’d say I was quite the hard working hound - my owner Steve and I are regulars in the office. I like to see myself as one of the more experienced dogs in the office, that’s not to say I’m old, but I’ve been coming into work since I was a young 'un. I love walkies in the dedicated area, Scentral Bark, where I stretch my legs, chew the fat and chinwag (or in fact just wag) with dogs and their owners from all over the building. I think I’m a great facilitator of new friendships - Steve has met lots more friends since we moved to our new building.

I enjoy the company of the other dogs and I’m happily exhausted by the end of the day - there’s a lot to keep me occupied. I’m happy to receive cuddles from all of Steve’s colleagues but if I’ve had enough, Steve just puts up a sign telling everyone that I’m tired. I try to set an example to any newbies - Steve makes sure we always stay in the Dog Friendly areas, use the Dog Friendly lifts and stick to the rules – it’s very important I don’t worry anyone or spend time near anyone who may be allergic. I know Steve and his colleagues found it really helpful to have behaviour experts on hand to help settle me in. It’s a dog’s life for sure!

In the beginning Purina took puppy steps…

It's clear Purina loves pets, and they’ve always known it would make sense to bring us along to work - people and pets are better together everywhere - work is no exception. They’re proud that their everyday work is infused by passion for pets. Many pet owners have busy lives and it became evident that PAW would suit some Purina employees’ lifestyles, needs and work-life blend. They worked hard to research every potential outcome or situation to make sure all employees and dogs could work together in a happy and safe environment. This, coupled with years of experience with allowing dogs in the office, informed the basis of Purina's thinking on introducing the PAW programme.

My canine chums and I started coming to the office back in 2003 - when Purina's HQ was located in New Malden - based on the simple idea that all employees should be given the opportunity to bring their companions to work on a daily basis. We then moved in with our Nestlé pals in Croydon and the first PAW policy was born, albeit restricted to Purina employees.

In 2012, Nestlé moved to new premises - City Place in Gatwick - an open plan office that was prime for ‘puppy proofing’ and a pawfect location to enable PAW roll out across the wider Nestlé businesses. Other employees at City Place began to notice the Purina pack -

they sure did cause many a tail to wag - and recognised the benefits of the PAW programme. Word on PAW quickly spread around the Nestlé businesses so Purina put on a Dog Day event - a chance for everyone to experience PAW for the day. It was such a success that it paved the way for a PAW policy extension to include all Nestlé businesses based at City Place. The appropriate office environment, maintenance routines and ‘housekeeping’ processes were put in place across the office, so that everyone could bring their furry friends to work. PAW continued to grow into the unique and all-encompassing programme that exists today.

To further help our new furry colleagues and their owners ease into the 9 to 5, an additional custom designed dog park to complement the existing one was created, just a paw-step or two away from our front doors. Dog friendly lifts, communal areas, meeting rooms, dedicated car parking spaces, exits and entrances were clearly marked to make sure getting about is as easy as possible.

We are all kept in prime health - there is a monthly Pop Up surgery led by vet nurses in a dedicated space in the building where they make sure us doggies are up to date with our flea and worm treatments, review our vaccinations, carry out health checks and offer advice.

No one is left out - the team respects that not everyone is as mad about us doggies (why not I say!?) so they've found ways of making all employees comfortable. Employees don't even need to own a dog to join in the fun - the dogs in the PAW programme have plenty of love to share around the teams. It’s been an exciting journey so far with 47 dogs now participating in the scheme and a whole host of Canine Consultants who help make PAW run smoothly including Pets at Work Champions, Dog Friendly Buddies and Doggie First Aid Wardens. The team is constantly growing as we continue to work hard to improve the programme.

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