These days, employee benefits go above and beyond. Everything from egg freezing to salad bars to free vacations — companies are finding ways to offer the most appealing employee perks in an effort to recruit and retain the best employees.

In July, we wrote about employer-sponsored benefit plans that insure the family pooch or cat. The newest perk to join the ranks is paid pet leave –“pawternity” — offered for employees who have recently brought home a fur baby and have long nights ahead. The trend, while new in the US, has long been established in the UK, and also includes paid time off during the death of a beloved pet.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with pet owners feeling especially pleased that companies are finally acknowledging and recognizing the large role pets play in our lives.

“We offer maternity and paternity leave,” states the CEO of a firm in this article, “And a pet is another member of the family. We don’t discriminate just because they aren’t human.” Not only is it a perk for new pet parents to spend time with the newest furry members of their family, studies have shown that quality time for bonding, settling in and learning proper socialization is key for a healthy puppy’s development. Most importantly, companies may find themselves with very happy and refreshed employees returning from quality time with their four-legged babies.

In addition, being able to be with any children in the home to help them process the death of a pet and to be together as a family is undeniably important. “When a pet dies suddenly, it highlights the unpredictability of the world,” says Abigail Marks in this NYTimes article, “It tells children that the people and animals they love can die without warning.”

As pet-lovers at Pampered Pets who have dedicated our work to offering the best possible care for the furry friends of New York and New Jersey, we’re happy to see a growth of pet-geared employee perks!