Trust has launched the ‘Not Just a Dog’ campaign to highlight the devastating effect a dog’s death can have on their owners. Photo: Baptist Standaert

More than just a dog

Only owners with a personal bond with their dog would understand the devastating hardship that comes with losing your furry friend.

Dogs Trust has launched the Not Just a Dog campaign to highlight the devastating effect a dog’s death can have on their owners and are appealing to employers to consider offering compassionate leave to employees should their beloved pet pass away.

Becky Bristow, Executive Director of Dogs Trust Ireland, said: “Many people spend more time with their dogs than anyone else in their life and have a unique bond with them. As a dog welfare charity, we understand the impact the loss of a dog can have, so we offer our employees a day’s paid leave in the event of the death of their dog, and we would love to see other employers offering the same.”

Research carried out revealed over half of dog owners felt the grief they experienced after losing their dog was similar or worse to the loss of a family member, with a further 38% stating they were surprised by how deeply they were affected.

Psychologist, Neuroscientist and dog lover, Dr Sabina Brennan explained: “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. I think the most important aspect of coping with the loss is to allow yourself to grieve and accepting that what you’re feeling is normal.”

To help spread the message and show that it’s not just a dog, Dogs Trust are asking people to share a photo of their dog using the hashtag #NotJustADog on social media.