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Time off work when a pet dies

A work colleague took today off because their pet died. I can't imagine taking the day off for this. Am I heartless or are they flakey? And would it be different if it was, say a dog you'd had for 10 years, as opposed to a gerbil you'd had for a couple of years? 


  • I'd find that ridiculous. But, i'm not a pet person AT ALL.
  • What is the time off classed as? If it wasn't unpaid leave or annual leave then there's something wrong. They can't take sick day, they aren't sick, I wouldn't think it would warrant compassionate leave.


    Not a pet person but I'd be annoyed if compassionate leave or a sick day was given and when I was in charge in my old job we wouldn't have allowed a sick day for it

  • Not sure what its classes as CP, but they were too distressed to work.

    See I am a pet person AK, but I still can't see me taking time off. Not been in that situation mind you.

  • To be honest it depends on the circumstances, and one of those things that you probably can't imagine if you haven't got a pet or aren't and animal person. A few years ago my dog had a rather frightening series of seizures at night necessitating emergency vets visit and being up all night at the vets with him and while he had surgery. I had to take the next day off as i hadn't slept and I had to go and collect him then observe him at home. It was annual leave that I took though. I think I'd be very upset if he passed away and if it was in similar circumstances to the above or had been an awful experience I might need to take a day's annual leave where possible to sort myself out!

  • Someone at my work had 3 days off sick when her dog died. She got paid for it too.  I think 3 days is too much in my opinion. I'm not a pet person myself.

  • When my bunny died i was really upset but i didnt take time off. I just cried at my desk! :'(

  • I'm not a pet person either but DH And my ILs are. Annual leave or unpaid fair enough, but sick leave or compassionate leave no way!!!
  • If I had a job that could easily be covered I'd definitely have taken a day off when I had to have my old girl (dog) put down. It was awful. Son and I cried and cried. But I didn't so I couldn't. A woman hubby works with keeps taking time off to care for her poorly pedigree dog that seems to have lots of digestive issues and it's starting to nark the team.

  • I'm not a pet person either, but can understand it a bit- my parents had a lovely cat and she was poisoned by anti-freeze, it was horrendous and we were all distressed by it.  My parents didn't take the day off work but I would have understood if they had.

  • I think unpaid leave is fine. I had to take unpaid leave to attend a funeral as it wasn't a close family member, although it was real person!

  • Well if our dog died h would need to take the day off because he drives so hed need to take the body away and deal with that etc. It may well not be because of grief but rather for practicalities. Shouldnt be paid though!

  • im a dog person and if my honey was to pass away id be distraught and probably would have alot more than a day, i had 2 days last week when she was rushed to the vets and left early when i went back to work.

    shes my world

  • yoyo
    Someone at my work had 3 days off sick when her dog died. She got paid for it too.  

    I'm really shocked at this, especially as there is a current campaign for compassionate leave for parents who lose a child. The family running it were only given three days, one of which had to be for the funeral. Puts into perspective really. 

    Take a day off it you need to but not compassionate leave - it should be AL or unpaid IMO. 

  • I can understand needing a day off but agree that it should not be compassionate leave. A girl I used to work with wasn't allowed to take this to go to the funeral of her boyfriend's brother as he wasn't direct family.

  • I think that's my issue, compassionate leave should not be allowed. You wouldn't be allowed a sick day either where iv worked previously.  Someone I know asked for carers leave when her dog was having surgery, it was obviously declined, Jesus I couldn't even get carers leave when L was unwell once so they were not allowing it for a dog thankfully

  • The answer is, yes you are being absolutely heartless. Pets are a part of the family. I lost my brother 2 years ago and my dog today and guess what.. the heartbreak is exactly the same. She was family to me, and my best friend. You'd be upset if your employer allowed them to take a day as compassionate leave? Some employers are more sympathetic than others and it is my opinion that the more sympathetic the better.

    Perhaps the reason you are not a pet person is because you lack empathy and the ability to truly connect with others. Your narrow mindedness makes me sick and your inability to understand others heartbreak says a lot about you as a person. 

  • Aww, would you be annoyed because someone's getting paid time off when you aren't? The heartbreak is unimaginable and for me, the same as losing a family member. Compassionate leave is absolutely warranted when you lose your best friend, family, to which my pets are both of these things. All you mumsnet know-it-all stick your noses in people with no sympathy for others. 

  • I think it definitely depends on the circumstances. Some people see animals as family members and others see them as pests. Although it is a bit daft that someone can be paid a full days work for such a thing, I would have my doubts.

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