ONLY ON NEWS 5: More companies offering benefits for animal lovers and pet owners

CLEVELAND - 'Take Your Dog to Work Day' is coming up this Friday, but more companies are already allowing dogs in the office all year round.

From ‘Google’ to ‘Ben and Jerry's,’ some companies even in Ohio are allowing more benefits for dog owners.

‘Marcus Thomas,’ a local advertising agency, has allowed pets at the workplace, since the 1990's.

Starting this year, the company is also offering discounts on pet insurance for employees through one of its clients.

Senior Vice President King Hill joked about how the dogs are more effective than medicine in relieving stress.

“It's like a four-legged Xanax!” he said.

Media Director Elizabeth Abate said her dog, Milton is very food motivated. She showed News 5 some tricks that she taught him.

“I think that there's a stigma that it's destructive or it might decrease productivity,” she said.

The company does have a ‘three strikes you're out policy’ when it comes to bad dog behavior in the office.

“That's only happened twice, since 1991,” said Hill.

As for allergies, he said surprisingly, no employee complaints have been filed. However, some employees admitted there are downsides.

“There have been situations where I need to leave a meeting because Milton needed to go outside or if he was misbehaving,” she said, “That's a con, but I do think the pros outweigh the cons.”

In the end, Abate said she likes the fact that she does not have to feel guilty about staying late at work.

She said she wouldn't have even adopted Milton through 'Save Ohio Strays,' if the company did not allow dogs at work.

“I'm more productive because I’m able to have my dog with me,” said Abate, “I think I'm in a better mood.”

Digital Producer Cody Nash agreed with her.

“I look down and hang out with the dog, instead of being stressed out,” he said, “I kind of concentrate on something else for a second.”

Most recently, Marcus Thomas is offering its workers up to a 25 percent discount on pet insurance through one of its clients, Embrace Pet Insurance.

Another Ohio company, J.M. Smuckers is also offering pet insurance plans. Starting this year, the company is paying for pet adoptions for its employees, by up to $200.

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