I think having friendly four-legged friends in shops is very endearing. I know that especially this summer; I have been missing my own pets a great deal, so every time I go to a shop or business that has an animal it brightens my day. Being from Washington D.C., I don't encounter very many pets in shops and I really believe that it could help businesses. There are, of course, the inherit risks of having animals in a shop; the animal could get out, pets cost money for upkeep, there has to be at least one person willing to care for the animal at night and on off days, and there are health codes to consider. However, many of these risks are parallel to those that come with getting a pet regardless of whether you will take it into your shop. If you have the means and opportunity to have a store pet, I am a firm believer that you should.
Pets in workplaces can brighten the moods of the employees and can even help sales. When I was interviewing Lola Chapin for my Greeters story in this week's paper she told me that her dog, Milly, was often a fantastic ice breaker for finicky or unsure customers. She said that sometimes if a customer was having a difficult time warming up to her that Milly would serve as a sort of bridge for communication.
Whenever I walk into a store that has a pet, I feel more inclined to do my business there as opposed to somewhere else that may even have cheaper prices. Following that, if I find out that a company tests on animals I will immediately stop purchasing their products. Having pets and supporting animal rights shows compassion and I personally feel better when I feel that the people and companies that I am supporting are good people. I feel that pets in stores add a hometown feel that can boost businesses, and I always love to see it.
How do you feel about four-legged greeters? Who is your favorite resident pet?