Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune
Will Monk, 8, plays with his dog Zoey, a 2-year-old goldendoodle, in his backyard in Barrington, Illinois on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — A digital marketing company in Minnesota is giving its employees “fur-ternity” leave, which allows employees to work from home while training their new animals.

The company Nina Hale instituted the new policy after a senior account manager, Connor McCarthy, asked his supervisor if he could adjust his schedule to spend time with his newly adopted Goldendoodle, Bentley, according to The Associated Press.

The company approved his request.

“I think it was great,” he said. “Within a couple of weeks, he was potty-trained. I was able to help out with that.”

Allison McMenimen, executive vice president for client services at Nina Hale, said McCarthy’s time off helped the company see the new pets are almost as important as new children, according to the AP.

“We realized that we had received these requests a couple of times, and we thought, for so many of our hardworking, dedicated employees, there’s an opportunity for us to reciprocate their dedication and give them additional flexibility when they’re making a major life change,” she said. “And in this case, instead of a human baby, it’s a fur baby.”

The company added the option for “fur-ternity leave” into its benefits package three months after seeing McCarthy’s success.

“People are at all different points during their life,” she said. “So for us, it’s about providing flexibility to people — however they define their family — even if it’s not a formal parental leave.”

A 2017 survey from the business solutions agency Gale found that 44 percent of millennials see their pets as starter kids, according to AdWeek.

Similarly, 21 percent say they welcome pets into their home as practice before they have children.

Roughly 75 percent of all Americans in their 30s own dogs and more than half own cats, The Washington Post reported.

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But Mara Altman wrote for The New York Times that raising a puppy helped her and her husband learn how to act as parents.

In fact, Altman wrote that she and her husband didn’t raise their puppy right, turning her into “an entitled, unsociable and disobedient” dog.

“The first thought that sprung to mind — after disbelief, terror and awe — was that these babies, no matter what, could not turn out like our dog. Whatever we did with Chucho, we had to do the absolute opposite with our kids,” she wrote.