In a day and age where people carry their animals in purses to the mall and animals eat alongside their owners in restaurants, tenants and landlords alike can work to make commercial properties more animal-friendly, attracting animal-loving clients and happier employees.

Research shows that employees, especially millennials, will work longer hours and handle stress better when their friendly pets accompany them to work. Retailers with pets in their stores claim that having a dog, cat or turtle in their shops increases foot traffic, inspires customers to stop in more often to visit their cute pet friends, and helps sales. Animals also assist with security issues for professionals who work alone.

Grimmsley the cat from Fat Cat Books- Paw Paw Michigan


Rocky the Therapy Dog

Rocky, the Therapy Dog

Jean Wing, from Fat Cat Books inPaw Paw, Michigan, constantly uses her cat, Grimmsley, to give her used bookstore a friendly atmosphere where the cat is the marketing mascot of the store. Psychologist, Pat Huston, loves having her gentle greyhound present during therapy sessions, as Rocky helps people to relax. Even in other office settings, people use their animals to bring ease to customers. Buddy, the cat of Russ Theisen, from MetLife inPaw Paw, consistently greets customers at the door, walks the narrow strip between cubicles, and peers out the window waiting for visitors. At Lana’s Boutique in downtown Kalamazoo, adoptable cats spend time until they find their forever homes. O’Duffys, in Kalamazoo’s historic Vine Neighborhood, frequently has a service-dog in the crowd and a furry-friendly porch where humans and their animals can enjoy the charm of this pub.

A commercial real estate professional can help navigate the issues that pet lovers may raise in negotiating a lease and help with thinking through the future implications of pets in the workplace.

Some of the topics may include:

  • When tenants ask for permission for animals to come to the workplace, landlords may want to request additional security deposit or other considerations before agreeing.
  • The landlord can offer to have outside space available for furry visitors as long as local ordinances and codes are followed when it comes to animals in commercial spaces.
  • Out of the courtesy for others, animal owners need to be careful of clients and co-workers with allergies by maintaining a clean, dander-free space.

Between therapy dogs, fancy felines, and the overall welcoming presence of animals, pets help their owners to have more productive and inviting workspaces, while adding enjoyment to their time away from home.