Petco To Offer Employees Pet Bereavement Pay

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
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Petco CEO Ron Coughlin knows how hard it is when you lose your best friend. In an interview earlier this year, he told CNN’s Julia Chatterley that it was that loss and his experience that made him thrilled to be able to give all of Petco employees paid pet bereavement leave.


In the interview, Petco CEO Ron Coughlin talked about losing his dog Yummy, with CNN’s Julia Chatterley. Coughlin explained how the episode made him grateful to give all his employees paid pet bereavement leave.

As Coughlin discussed ventures with Marriott and Nationwide insurance, he explained benefits for pet parents. He also shared personal stories about his beloved dog Yummy and how he was treated so lovingly. He said that the hotel would also put bowls and beds out for Yummy whenever he went to New York to help them both feel at home. 

Yummy was a double-cancer survivor, and Coughlin knows firsthand how important coverage like Nationwide offers is. The collaboration with Nationwide will help put pet parents at ease, and not quake each time a bill comes. 

Sharing that he saw bills that were $20,000-$30,000, he got emotional when Chatterley asked to talk more about Yummy. She mentioned that he’d been fighting cancer the last time the pair spoke, and she pointedly asked if he’d lost Yummy.

That’s when Coughlin emotionally shared that Yummy wasn’t just his dog, but all of Petco’s dog and beloved by all. The employees of Petco called him the Chief Dog Officer. 

He went on to say that Yummy was the epitome of what Petco’s mission to save lives looks like. Yummy lived to be 15, which Coughlin said was a long time for a Chocolate Lab, and he knew that it was because he’d been so loved and well-taken care of.

Chatterley agreed and concluded how important it was to honor the loss of our pets because the love they give is so innocent. It’s like the loss of a family member.

Coughlin agreed and told about his first week on the job and how he’d gotten an email from a Petco partner that said it didn’t make sense that a pet company would have human bereavement but not pet bereavement.

Coughlin was proud to say that he put paid pet bereavement in place for all Petco employees a week later, sharing that he definitely needed time off when Yummy died.

As do we all when a furry family member passes. They’re not just animals, they’re pieces of our hearts,  and we need time to honor that love we shared.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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