It can be just as painful to grieve the death of a four-legged friend as it is to grieve the loss of a human family member or friend. It's important to take the time to grieve and to experience your emotions.
Our compassionate team can provide resources to help you after the loss of a companion animal.
How a Pet Loss Support Group Can Help
We are honored to provide any support and resources we can as you grieve the loss of your beloved pet. Grief counseling services can help you process your loss and provide tools for a healthy mourning process. We can provide support and guidance in these areas:
We will help you take care of yourself during this difficult time.
Although it can be difficult to face, it's important to give yourself time to mourn. You may want to suppress the grief and keep up appearances, but your to-do list can wait and your friends and family will understand if you need some time to heal.
Be kind and gentle to yourself, and remember that sadness is not a weakness, but a part of life. Suppressing your feelings will only increase stress, anxiety and anger in the long run.
We will help you find a way to honor your lost loved one.
Finding a way to honor your departed pet is an important part of the healing process. Memorializing your pet can help bring you closure, and provide a sweet reminder of all the good times.
Did your pet have a beloved toy? A personalized collar or a favorite spot to curl up? Reflect on these details and take the time to create a little memorial just for them.
Communicating with Children
We will help you talk to your kids about grief and loss.
While it may seem kindest to lie to your children about the death of your pet, consider it an opportunity to teach them a valuable lesson about mortality and the grieving process.
Pet loss can show your children what your family does when something sad happens, and that grief and loss are normal parts of life. They can and should grieve, but it's also okay to eventually move on and feel happy again.
We will help you talk to friends and family about your loss.
You may encounter people who are insensitive to your loss because they don't understand it. They may diminish how you feel (intentionally or not) and suggest you should "just get a new pet".
We will help you navigate conversations about your loss with the people in your life, and give you tools to politely but firmly insist on your right to process your loss in your own way.
You may choose to take advantage of these local resources. Here are some pet loss support hotlines and websites that offer trained counselors you can talk to:
- Pet Loss Support Hotline at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine 800-565-1526 or 530-752-4200
- Ohio State University Pet Loss and Support Information Line: 614-292-1823. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Chicago VMA: 630-325-1600
- Cornell University: 607-253-3932
- University of Illinois: 212-244-2273(CARE) or 877-394-2273(CARE)
- Iowa State University: 888-ISU-PLSH (888-478-7574)
- Michigan State University: 517-432-2696
- Tufts University: 508-839-7966
- Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: 540-231-8038
- Washington State University: 509-335-5704