Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity has appealed to employers to consider offering compassionate leave to employees should their beloved pet pass away.
This follows the launch of Dog Trust’s new ‘Not Just a Dog’ campaign to highlight the devastating impact a dog’s death can have on its owners.
New research from the charity shows that over 50% of dog owners felt the grief they experienced after losing their dog was similar or worse to the loss of a family member.
A further 38% declared they were surprised by how “deeply” impacted they were.
Almost 75% of participants admitted having more photos of their dogs on their phones than their partner, family or friends.
Over 58% revealed that it took them 12 months or more to “start to come to terms” with their dog’s passing.
66% of those that took part in Dog Trust’s survey signalled their worry about their dog’s passing.
A day’s paid leave
Becky Bristow, executive director of Dogs Trust Ireland, said that many people spend more time with their dogs than anyone else in their life.
She revealed that “as a dog welfare charity, we understand the impact the loss of a dog can have”.
“Therefore, we offer our employees a day’s paid leave in the event of the death of their dog. We would love to see other employers offering the same.”
Allow yourself to grieve
Psychologist and neuroscientist, Dr Sabina Brennan, believes that the most important aspect of coping with the loss is to allow yourself to grieve and accept that what you are feeling is “normal”.
“When a dog passes on, no matter how prepared we are for it, how old the dog is or how long or how short a time they spent with you, the loss can be overwhelming.”
“Surround yourself with people who understand, and if you are struggling, please seek professional advice,” she concluded.
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