With three office dogs sometimes joining us at FOCUS Towers, it’s no surprise that FOCUS is a team of pet lovers! We were all therefore delighted when we started working with Pawshake – a website and app service that allows pet owners to find trusted pet sitters – to help build brand awareness through press coverage.

Our daily newspaper round ups showed us the growing phenomenon of the humanisation of our pets; from five star pet hotels to dog yoga, pets are increasingly being treated more like part of the family.

With this in mind, we set out to find out exactly just how much we love our furry friends. Pawshake surveyed their community which revealed not only how pet mad the UK has become, but also an emerging new trend – PET-ernity leave (time off work) to look after a new pet.

With pet ownership on the rise (in 2015 the Pet Food Manufacturers Association estimated 46% of households have pets) and more and more Millennial couples deciding to have children later in life, it seems the rise of PET-ernity leave has evolved from a generation increasingly looking for pet care options to fit their pets into their busy work life.

The survey divulged that 43% of pet owners have taken leave to look after a new pet. However it seems not everyone feels confident enough to ask for time off work to care for a pet, with over half of respondents (49%) admitting to pulling a sickie to look after a pet in an emergency rather than taking official holiday.

In addition to this, the survey by Pawshake revealed that 80% of pet owners have asked, or would consider asking, their boss for more flexible hours or the opportunity to work from home to look after their pet, showing not only the feeling of responsibility more akin to childcare but the desire to spend more time with their pet.

Following selling the news to press, the Pawshake team secured an exclusive with the MailOnline. Keep your eyes peeled for more news on Pawshake and PET-ernity leave this year!