For pet owners, the feelings that come with the loss of a pet may be intense, conflicting, confusing, and more. These feelings, however, are a normal part of the grieving process. They allow us to deal with our grieving for pet loss and accept the natural passage from life to death. 

In years past, the impact that pet loss can have on a person may not have been fully recognized. Support centered on human loss was much more extensive than the support available for the loss of a pet. This was true even though pet owners often feel just as strongly about the death of a beloved pet as they might about the loss of a family member or friend.

Today, however, there is a greater awareness that the loss of a pet also calls for the support and sympathy of those around us to help us cope. Family members, friends, the veterinary team, funeral homes, and even other pets can all play a role in helping us work through our sorrow. In addition to love and sympathy, this support often requires patience and understanding on the part of those around us.

While grieving for pet loss is a very personal experience, and also a unique one, you need not face this alone. There are many forms of support available such as pet bereavement counseling services, pet loss support hot lines, local or online support groups, and videos that help you to cope with pet loss.

Articles

"One of the Family" by Dr. Bill Webster

Grief Support Tools & Pet Loss Hotlines:

ASPCA National Pet Loss
T: 1-877-474-3310
24 hours / day

Grief Resources for Children

The loss of a family pet can be a child's first experience with death. Helping children cope with grieving for pet loss will help them to understand a very painful aspect of life and will enable them to begin the healing process. Many books and articles are available for children of different ages that will help them deal with the death of a family pet. Reading with your child may help them to share their feelings of loss with you.