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Emergency Hospitals

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Pet Loss Support for Adults

To help you cope with the loss of your pet:

  • Give yourself permission to grieve.  You’ve just lost a faithful companion who gave you unconditional love.  It’s a tremendous loss and absence from your life.  Take time to heal.  It is normal to feel sad and worn out for awhile.
  • Guilt is a common feeling with grief.  It is normal to wrestle with feelings of guilt at this time, even though there is usually nothing that you could or should have done differently.  We all just do the best we can. Try to be gentle on yourself if you do experience guilt, and know that it is a common feeling during this process.

a man's hands holding a leash and empty dog collar missing his pet

  • Have a family ritual or ceremony to celebrate your pet’s life and acknowledge his or her death.  Write a letter, create a memorial, write a poem, or tell stories. We have compiled a list of some ideas for celebrating your pet's life and for memorializing them.
  • Talk openly with someone you trust about the loss.  Get it all out.  Share your feelings completely.  Other family members may be grieving too much to support you, and it’s okay to seek professional help to get through this.
  • Think about doing something creative, such as writing in a journal, painting, clay, glass, drawing, etc. to celebrate your life with your pet.
  • Do something each day that brings you joy.  It can be hard to be joyful amidst sadness, but joy and laughter are universal healers.  You won’t be disrespecting your pet by working through your loss and seeking out things that make you joyful or laugh.
  • If you think you want another pet, do so only when you are ready.  You will never be able to replace the pet you lost; it takes time to emotionally invest in a new pet.

Anticipatory Grief

Support for Children

Supporting Other Pets

Grief Resources

Anticipatory Grief - Support for Children - Support for Other Pets - Grief Resources