Pet care is one of the hottest franchise businesses today because people who don't work regular hours need this service. I just read that FETCH! Pet Care (www.fetchpetcare.com), America's largest pet care franchise, has even signed a partnership agreement with Caregivers On Call, a provider of corporate employee benefits services.
Allowing pets in the workplace depends on whether or not you own your building; we lease and our building management does not allow pets in the building.
You also have to be concerned about employees who are allergic to pet hair dander. Bringing in a dog could cause a severe reaction..
I never worked at a employer that offered this but one of my prior employers was going to look into this. Basically it's offered to employees under voluntary benefits and through payroll deduction. There isn't a employer subsidy, employees would pay full price. It's attractive because of the payroll deduction convenience and any group discounts.
Our Long Term Disability Carrier offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all our full time employees. Within that program, [&]Pet Insurance is offered. It is more common nowadays to see this type of service offered in an EAP.
Manager of Employee Resources
I recently read comments made by a gay/lesbian employee who was very offended that her organization offered pet insurance but not domestic partner insurance. She used this as an example of how out-of-touch, discriminatory, and insensitive her organization was. I had nerver considered that reaction as a potential downside to offering pet insurance.
I think this shows that whatever changes you are making to benefits or other HR programs, it is critical that they be supportive of the company culture that you are trying to create or reinforce. Just throwing in pet insurance because it is afforabale will not necessarily improve your overall benefits program.