Pawternity leave – a jumpstart for pet parenthood

The first days with a new pet are memorable and special. When a furry family member is first introduced to a new home, both pets and pet parents have new things and routines to learn. Musti wants to ensure that all its employees in Finland, Sweden and Norway have a chance to create a strong bond with their new pets and offers the possibility for a 3-day paid Pawternity leave.

Getting to know the new family

Musti launched Pawternity leave in 2018, and it has been popular among Musti’s employees ever since. During the financial year 2022, as many as 34 Musti Group´s employees became pet parents and used the opportunity for Pawternity leave. Emma Husu, Product specialist at Musti Group, got her new family member, Staffordshire bull terrier Mauri, in January 2023. Husu has already been on Pawternity leave once before.

“I already had two Staffordshire bull terriers before Mauri came into our lives. Thanks to Pawternity leave, I was able to make sure my other dogs treated him well and that he adjusted to the new environment,” Husu says.

The first days in a new home are a significant phase in the growth and development of puppies. Depending on the needs of the pet, the beginning of the journey together might be intense. Getting to know the new environment and forming a coherent pack requires energy and spending time together. Louise Pahv, Business Controller at Arken Zoo, says her experienced dog owner colleagues prepared her for the first days with miniature poodle Mio.

“I took my Pawternity leave when I brought Mio home at 8 weeks old at the end of October 2022. I was prepared for a lot of hard work, not just for the cute and cuddly moments. The first days really were tough! We got to know each other, and we built new routines. For example, I learned that I can’t put him down on the hallway carpet while I put my shoes on, because he would pee on it. It was amazing and surreal to finally have him home as part of our family!” she says.

Musti Group’s Product Group Manager Anna Svensk and her Jack Russel terrier Maca also had a chance to spend quality time together in January 2023.

“I have two older dogs and Pawternity leave enabled us all to get to know each other without rush. We went for walks, and I introduced Maca to different environments. Maca also had a chance to practice calming down safely in her own space, first when I was present and later when I went away for a short while. This way I was able to make sure Maca would learn to trust that I would always come back,” Svensk explains.

Furry happiness at Musti’s stores and offices

Musti’s employees can stay on Pawternity leave once every year. Interest and expertise in animal well-being is expected from all Musti’s employees, and most of them have at least one furry family member at home. Pawternity leave is available for all Musti’s employees whether they work at Musti’s offices, stores or warehouses. Husu, Pahv and Svensk consider Pawternity leave a great example of Musti making the life of pets and their parents easier.

“I have never heard of any other company providing a similar benefit! Musti really appreciates that its employees want to gain more expertise on pets, and this is one way of showing support for pet parents,” Husu points out.

The employees’ pets are also welcome to the office and to staff facilities at all Musti’s stores. Young puppies cannot stay alone at home the whole day, so taking them to the office or to a Musti store helps many pet parents. Pahv started taking Mio to the office when he was 12 weeks old.

“After Mio had his vaccination at 12 weeks, we started to come to the office. Mio loves people, and he was happy about all the attention he got. It was also good for him to meet other dogs in the office, and he has made many new friends! It is such a great benefit that we can bring our dogs to the office, as it really makes life easier,” she says.

Husu is also taking her puppy to the office.

“Not everyone is able to work from home, which makes this opportunity all the more important. Sometimes, when I go to the office, there might be up to ten dogs. All of them have their own pen and they also join online meetings. Naturally other pets than dogs are allowed at the office too,” Husu says.


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