Pet maternity leave: Is paternity leave coming to us?

Updated: 08/22/2022 – 19:54

Britain does it
Paternity leave for pets: Is the ‘paternity leave’ trend coming to Germany?

Photo: Shutterstock Studio / Prostock

The four-legged friend should quickly get comfortable in his new home and get to know his new family. This is the purpose of parental leave for pets.

If you have a child, you can take parental leave. This is a clear. But does this claim also apply to the animal’s offspring? Parental leave for pets has been debated in the UK and US for years. Read what’s behind the idea here.

Getting a pet is a beautiful and exciting experience for animal lovers. But it costs not only time and money, but also a lot of nerves. Little animals in particular are transforming a cozy living room into a messy playroom in no time at all. In order to have enough time for the new animal housing companion, there is an interesting idea: parental leave for pets.

Power leave is a trend that has been a hot topic in the US and UK for some time. While pet owners applaud “maternity leave,” others see the idea as unfair and disproportionate. What is behind the idea and could there be a debate here in Germany soon?

‘Paternity Leave’ – When pet owners go on parental leave

What seems strange at first is actually partly true in Great Britain. Some companies allow their employees to take parental leave after getting a new pet. It doesn’t matter if they have a cat or a dog. Free time should allow the four-legged friend to get used to his new people. The father and mother are allowed to work from the home office during this time. Some companies also give their employees paid time off if they adopt a new animal or if a four-legged friend is sick.

“This scale […] It really helps a lot when adopting a dog in the family,” dog trainer Martin Rotter wrote on his website. They should get to know the new caregivers and know what life is like in the new home. Only then can they feel safe, so that you gradually get used to being home alone for a few hours.”

British companies are at the fore

As the Mirror reported in 2016, one in five people in Great Britain was said to have received an offer from their employer to be able to take time off to care for their new roommate. The time period ranges from a few hours to a few weeks.

An IT company in Manchester is making up to three months of paid parental leave available for pets. Owner Greg Buchanan explains his idea: “I don’t have kids, but I have dogs and I understand how much you can mean to people,” he says. “I have found my employees to be loyal and hardworking if I am flexible in dealing with their animals.”

When employees at Scottish brewery Brewdog bring a puppy or adult from the animal shelter to their home, they are entitled to a week of paid leave to acclimatize. This also applies to sites located in Germany.

Critical voices from the United States

Pet food maker Mars Petcare was the first American company to offer parental leave for pets, especially puppies. So employees can take up to 10 extra hours of paid time off. If that’s not enough, you can also take your new four-legged friend to the office.

However, critical voices can be heard from America, because still not all employers give their employees parental leave when they have a child. So why then with the offspring of the animal?

Parental leave for pets is also possible in Germany?

In Germany, new fathers are entitled to up to three years of parental leave. This is for the care and upbringing of the child. Anyone who likes to hire people who love animals is advised to take pet parental leave. Dog trainer Martin Rotter is also sure: “Such a measure should be evaluated favorably anyway and would certainly be welcomed by many pet owners here in Germany.”

After all, pets are now full members of the family for many that we don’t want to leave at home alone all day. “Companies in Germany are increasingly allowing you to take your dog to work, but unfortunately this is not possible in all areas of the business. Thus this alternative can be an attractive alternative for employees,” says Rotter.



If you want to spend more time with your pet, you can simply take the fur nose with you on vacation. Read here what you need to consider:



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