Should Bereavement Leave Extend To The Loss Of A Beloved Pet?

Listen, I honestly believe that anyone who would argue that people don’t legitimately grieve the loss of a beloved family pet either a) has never had and lost such a pet or b) is some kind of sociopath.

That said, the majority of employers and people who make decisions about company leave don’t go in for the idea that we need time off/leave in order to deal with that grief – which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

This person thinks their opinion that it should be standard is unpopular, but is it?

The death of a pet should be socially accepted and given vacation from work to grief your loss as with any family member that passed away.

As per the title. I hear a lot of people going through the loss of a pet and not being able to take a vacation for a few days so they can properly grief.

You spend years of your life with your pets, they’re closer to you than most family members and still, some bosses would not give a vacation for the fact that “The death of your pet is not an important enough event for which you would not be able to work.”

I know for certain that when and hopefully not soon my dog will die, I would be devastated. Going to work would be the last thing I would like to do in that case.

Also, there’s a ton of people talking about pets that die quickly. Nothing stops you from buying 50 hamsters. But this applies more to pets that you actually share a bond with, small rodents have a rather quick lifespan and is not as devastating as losing a dog, cat, rabbits, reptiles and other pets that are for years by your side.

Reddit is weighing in!

12. You never now until it happens to you.

I was never really a dog person (don’t dislike them, just didn’t grow up with one and never wanted the responsibility of taking care of one). When I got with my wife, we got an olde english bulldog.

We had her about 8 years and got her put down about 6 months ago (she was 11, which is good for her breed) and it was so fucking brutal it makes me never want to own another dog.

We had a newborn baby at the time, so that sort of made it easier to handle and keep our minds occupied but I always worried about how my wife would handle it when Missy passed and I ended up being the one who was an inconsolable mess haha

11. It would be hard to know where to draw the line.

There’s always some guy with a pet slug that ruins it for everyone though.

People will just buy 20 hamsters and take vacation every month or so

10. There’s this rebuttal, though.

This is the same argument people use for welfare and UBI. Something people need to understand is the abusers will not affect or hold back the countless others social benifits will empower.

So you just include the abusers in the cost. Allow it to happen. Document and show pattern of behavior and hopefully guide reform in those individuals.

9. Just use your mental health days.

I got downvoted to hell the last time this was reposted and I pointed out it wouldn’t work since losing a macaw is absolutely devastating, but losing a guppy not so much.

So since you obviously shouldn’t get bereavement time because your guppy died, and it would be too difficult to legislate what animals count and what don’t (most people will say “just do cats and dogs”, but that’s fucked up to imply an intelligent parrot or a gigantic horse is worth less than a dog) it will never pass.

Unless they do like a generic “one day off for mental health” type thing…… Which is essentially what PTO is anyway.

8. If you can line it up…

We had a similar situation. Had to put our dog down about 12 hours before my wife was to be induced. She starting going into labor that day so we spent Winston’s last day with my wife starting contractions.

I remember putting my dog in the car for the last time to take him to the vet and just being such a mess. He was suffering but his eyes always lit up for car rides. Of course all of this was during COVID, we had just moved back from out of state and just so much uncertainty about so many things.

We gave him a peaceful last day and the vet let us find a place outside so we could hold him for his last moments before sunset. I was thankful because they weren’t letting people into the clinic due to the pandemic and as someone working in a hospital, I know many humans weren’t allowed the same.

It was still brutal for me. We got back from saying goodbye to Winston and ate something and then rushed to the hospital as my wife was in active labor.

I had off the next few months for paternity leave by a year later I still haven’t fully processed what happened and still randomly tear up in the rare moments I get to myself.

7. Maybe gauge it by lifespan?

Just make it for animals with lifespan higher than 3 years.

I guess the death of an koi fish that’s old af can be as devastating as a death of a dog, but your snails in aquarium shouldn’t count.

6. You might have to lie.

I used to have a job where they had to know why you were taking it off to decide whether it was worthy

They literally didn’t think going to my uncles funeral was worth letting me not work. I told them I’m going whether they liked it or not and they gave me points on my record for no call no show. I don’t work there anymore but I’m still salty about that, it’s not no call if I literally told you I’m not coming.

Supposedly they couldn’t Keep any new employees for longer than a month or two, so I’ve heard from friends that still work there that they’ve gotten a lot better

5. But can we really place value on other people’s pets?

I don’t think it’s our place to put value on other people’s pets. You can have a fish die and it could be just as de eat sting to someone as a dog. If you have an employee abusing the system, then you talk with that employee.

FWIW, my employers gives one day of bereavement for pets – no questions asked.

4. Just be a good employee the rest of the time.

Paid day or unpaid day. If your employer cares, they set this stuff up for you. If they don’t, or if you abuse it so they stop, then just work. If you are a quality employee, you should be able to get a job somewhere that will do this for you if it matters to you.

I don’t care why my employees are taking days off really. But there is sometimes the person that burns all their time off immediately, then starts making excuses. You have been working here 6 months and had 4 grandmas die, and your coworkers picking up the slack are pretty eager to turn in your facebook posts showing that you were partying at the bar again.

I get that we all grieve in our own ways, but there is usually a trend that the people doing the worst job are also the ones calling in the most.

3. Bereavement leave isn’t for grieving.

The whole framing is just wrong and you have correctly stated that you can’t measure grief and relationships with a deceased pet or even family member.

Those days off aren’t for grieving they are because you need to organise a funeral, the will and all other logistics that come with the death off a family member.

2. Totally brutal.

My last job i watched supervision not only not allow leave when a pet died but they made fun of the lady for being so upset. The lady lives alone and the dog was her only companion for 14 years. Sad really.

I felt so bad and stepped in between what i saw as an almost bullying type of response from the supervisor. I contacted the next line of supervision and he came down and remedied the situation by giving her a few days off.

Whether anything happened to the supervisor would be between those 2 as i have no knowledge other than he is still there in that capacity

1. You don’t have to give details.

I took a sick day after my childhood dog died. No regrets. Just told them I was sick.

I wish this would happen, because I grieved my dog of 16 years harder than (older) family members, to be honest.

Anyone had an experience with an employer being super understanding? The opposite? Tell us your experiences in the comments!