After the Loss of his Dog, Petco CEO Ron Coughlin Acknowledges Employees are Given Paid Pet Bereavement Leave

Sometimes in life, it takes personally experiencing something catastrophic to wake you up to the realities of life. When it does, we’re able to switch from sympathy to empathy. That wasn’t necessarily the case for Petco CEO Ron Coughlin, who has a soft spot for animals. In a recent interview with CNN Business, anchor Julia Chatterley got a chance to speak with him about loss and other important topics impacting the brand.

yellow lab
Photo: Pixabay/idahoharleydude

Pet Bereavement

Coughlin lost his own dog, Yummy, and it had a profound impact on him, as it does with most pet parents. Yummy, as he explained, was a double cancer survivor, costing him between $20,000 and $30,000 each time the animal fell ill. This is a cost most ordinary Americans could never afford, even if there’s insurance to help defer the costs. Yummy, a yellow Lab who lived to be 15, played an important role in not only Coughlin’s life but for Petco itself, where he was fondly referred to as the Chief Dog Officer.

whippet
Photo: Pixabay/6591713

Paid Time Off

During the interview, Coughlin noted that during his first week on the job he received an email where the subject of human bereavement as a policy came up but pet bereavement wasn’t yet a thing. One week later, the company announced its own paid pet bereavement policy. He also admitted that after the passing of Yummy, he could have used some time to process the loss himself.

elderly dog
Photo: Pixabay/mirkosajkov

Pet Insurance

Another topic of discussion was the fact that keeping our pets healthy throughout their lives with preventative measures can go a long way toward curbing future care costs. In October, Petco and Nationwide Insurance announced that they’d joined forces to bring insurance and care to more pets with the hope that the partnership would increase access to veterinary and pet services with a seamless and unified system of care. Nationwide is currently the largest pet insurer in the country.

The plan is for “a multi-year partnership to co-develop integrated and affordable pet health, wellness and protection solutions for every stage of a pet’s life, with the goal of better pet health and wellness outcomes for the more than 90 million pet families in the U.S.”

dog on beach
Photo: Pixabay/spoba

Petco & Marriott

This is the second important partnership Petco has recently embraced after announcing that they’d brokered a deal with Marriott Hotel chains for pet-friendly vacation rentals through Marriott’s Bonvoy program. Thanks to Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy and Petco Health + Wellness, travelers can easily book properties that are more suited to traveling with furbabies than ever before. What will they think of next?

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