Grief Support

Grief Support

Families grieve deeply when a pet dies. It is important that you and your family accept the need to grieve. You will probably experience a variety of emotions: confusion, disorganization, sadness, or guilt. These feelings are natural reactions to your recent loss, and you should not suppress them. It helps to talk about and embrace the memories of your pet. It is also important to remember that everyone experiences grief differently. Be sure to respect each person’s need to grieve in his or her own way. 

The loss of a pet is often a child’s first experience with death. Children rely on adults to see how to openly express their feelings. An adult’s response during this time can determine whether a child’s first exposure to death will be a positive or negative part of personal development. 

Dealing with the loss of a beloved pet can be devastating. You are not alone in your grief. Finding support and reaching out to help you understand the loss you are experiencing can go a long way to help you during this challenging time. We have provided some helpful resources and grief support links below.

Support Groups and Hotlines

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement is a nonprofit association of concerned volunteers who are knowledgeable about the tender subject of pet death and dedicated to helping people during this very special kind of bereavement. The website contains an extensive list of resources related to pet loss.

The Argus Institute honors the human-animal bond by providing compassionate support and advocacy for people who care about animals. The webpage contains links to pet loss resources, including recommended reading for both adults and children.

Everlife Memorials offer a Nationwide Pet Loss Support Group listing. 
Grief Healing lists a number of helplines.

Supporting Children after Pet Loss

Typically, the death of a pet is a child’s first experience with loss. Children grieve differently and need lots of support and love. We have put together a list of books and links that will help parents guide their children in understanding their feelings so that they can begin to heal. 

Books to Help Grieving Children

  • Stay: A Girl, A Dog, A Bucket List by Kate Klise
  • Healing A Child’s Pet Loss Grief: A Guide for Parents by Wendy Van de Poll
  • Children and Pet Loss: A Guide for Helping by Marty Tousley
  • Dog Heaven by Cynthia Ryant
  • Don’t Say Goodbye, Just Say See You! by Patricia A. Brill, PhD

If you need support or simply have a question related to coping with the loss of a pet, feel free to contact us.