Menzis and DDB & Tribal Amsterdam match rescued dogs with employees to reduce their stress levels

Menzis and DDB & Tribal Amsterdam match rescued dogs with employees to reduce their stress levels

Oct. 31, 2018

Did you know that over half of Dutch people suffer from stress? Even in the famously laid-back and liberal Netherlands, stress is evidently a problem. To help tackle this problem, Menzis Health Insurance is showing how dogs can play a role in reducing stress in humans through a unique initiative called ‘Dogs Against Stress’, created by their lead agency DDB & Tribal Amsterdam.

The campaign is based on research conducted both independently and by Menzis, showing that indeed over 50% of all Dutch people experience stress-related symptoms – for which Menzis Health Insurance offers different solutions. However, many studies – including one by Harvard Medical School, show that interacting with dogs has many health benefits and a stress-reducing effect.

But the problem is this: how can people who do not own a dog themselves – because they can’t or don’t want to – to be around a dog regularly anyway? And especially at work, where much of the stress originates from?

The answer is ‘Dogs Against Stress’ - a collaboration between companies and animal shelters. Employees are activated to take part and adopt a ‘company dog’. A shelter dog, adopted full-time by one employee, and taken to their place of work every day to provide companionship to all employees.

Each dog in the programme is saved from a lonely life in the shelter - and all employees at the companies involved have the chance to be more relaxed, have fun, and see their stress levels go down. A win-win situation for humans and animals, alike.

People can discover more about stress at Menzis Health Insurance SamenGezond: an online environment that encourages people – even if they are not insured at Menzis Health Insurance – to make healthier choices in life. At this website, people can download a toolkit to convince their employers and colleagues of the benefits of bringing in a company dog. The toolkit includes a questionnaire and an application form. The dogs are specially selected by the shelters to have a character that is a good fit for a company with multiple employees.

The ‘Dogs Against Stress’ campaign includes an online documentary and a radio campaign, as well as online bannering.

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