Terminally Ill Pet and Grief Video

When a pet becomes terminally ill, an pet parent can become very depressed over the impending finale of the pet’s life.  Like any family member with bad news, the pet parent has to deal with numerous issues of grief but also how to proceed and care for the pet.  This video looks at some of the considerations that need to be made when a pet is diagnosed with a terminal illness

Terminal diagnosis of a pet is a sad part that life that happens when one owns a pet. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Program

Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Program

The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking to help others navigate the pain of pet loss.












Please review the video below

Terminal Illness Diagnosis and One’s Pet

The horrible news that one’s dog or cat has a terminal illness or a lethal disease is horrifying.  Upon visiting a vet clinic, one is already anxious.  The drive to the clinic, the waiting and the visit itself can make one extremely anxious.  As lab results are completed, nervous optimism is quickly replaced with the dread of the diagnosis.  Upon hearing that one’s pet has a health issue, one is left with numerous questions.  What are the options?  What is the cost?  Is it terminal, and if so, how much time if left?  Are there any treatments to give more time?  What are options to reduce pain?  These questions all emerge in a whirlwind as one is left with the car ride home realizing that one’s pet has a serious condition and time that was once thought to be guaranteed is no longer a reality.

The terminal diagnosis of a beloved pet can be earth shattering and heart breaking. There are options and also things to consider with the little time that may be left.


While already extremely painful, this is even far worst when the dog or cat is within the prime of his or her life.  Far from the average life span, a pet who is diagnosed while still young is a horrible pain to face.  The robbery of years only complicates the pain of the loss.

The article, “Tears as Owner Makes Memories With Her Dog After Pet’s Fatal Diagnosis” by Maria Azzurra Volpe relates a sad story of a Golden Retriever who faced a fatal diagnosis and a younger age and how the family grieved and coped.  She relates how the dog owner tried to enjoy the few days left.  The man who lost the dog remarked,

“Photographed him as much as I could. Took him to see his best friend. Had a photoshoot of the two of us. Facetimed when I was away. Received lots of loving gifts. Celebrated lymphoma awareness holidays. Got to spend one last holiday together. He still joined me for morning coffee. And snuggles. He enjoyed his last holiday with all his family.”

“Tears as Owner Makes Memories With Her Dog After Pet’s Fatal Diagnosis” Volpe, M. (2023). NewsWeek

To read the entire article, please click here


For some, the terminal diagnosis of a dog, cat, horse, or even smaller rabbit, or hamster is within the life span of a pet.  A dog that lives 12 to 14 years within a medium size breed is a good life.  One can rationalize and remember the better days but still be grateful for the company and time spent, while those who lose a dog as a puppy or around 3 to 7 years of age may very well feel robbed of golden years.  Like any person taken in their youth or prime, there is a sense of not just loss but a sense of robbery of time.  This is not to dismiss the pain felt when one loses a fury child at a far older age, but it does add more lamenting to the equation when one dies younger.  Terminal illness can change everything.

For those who can afford, sometimes surgeries or procedures can be done to try to save the pet, or alleviate pain, or give a few more months or even a year or two, but many things need to be considered when deciding upon treatments.  Will the treatment cause more pain?  Is the treatment effective or experimental?  How old is the pet and would the pet survive treatment?  Unfortunately those without pet insurance, many cannot afford the treatment all together.  The only alternative is keeping the pet comfortable and showering him or her with love.

Obviously for our pet children, price usually is not an issue.  If anything is within logic or has some success rate, many will pay the necessary amount and hope for the best, if the procedure has a high rate of success, the pet is healthy enough to undergo it and it does not create more harm then good.  Some cancers can be removed with a high rate of success, while others are not or do not have conclusive results.  These cases need to be considered upon an individual basis.

One important thing to consider is prevention.  What is the case history of your pets parents or grandparents?  How did they pass?  Also, it is so important to ensure your pets receive regular vet visits and receive the proper blood work.  Many diseases can be prevented or caught early by simply giving your pet the best healthcare possible via regular visits to the vet.  It is truly disheartening to see how many individuals do supply their dogs or cats with the necessary preventive medications.  Dogs should be on heartworm pills monthly, but so many owners do not spend the money or give their dog the proper the care they need to live long and healthy lives.

When Only Time is Left

If only time is left and no options remain, one needs to be strong for the pet.  One needs to keep the pet pain free and comfortable and enjoy the final days.  It is important at this time to also discuss with any children within the family what is occurring, so they can understand the nature of death and what is happening to the beloved fury family member.  In this time period, one should definitely express grief and prepare oneself but also to spend time.  Make the final months or year special.  Do special things that your pet loves to do, shower him or her with affection and special treats.   Also take pictures, videos, and share them with family and friends.

When little time is left with a pet, make the best of it. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Program


When the day comes, if planned, try to make the final day a special day.  Give your pet his or her most favorite food or treats and be there to the final end.  Do not send him or her alone to be euthanized but remain at the side.  This is not about you but about him or her at this moment.  It is about keeping him or her calm and peaceful.

After this loss, memorialize, keep ones’ pet fur, or ashes in a special place,  The time of grieving will definitely occur but more than likely, one has experienced a type of anticipatory grief and the grief may be intense at first or dulled but do not shy away from the emotions.  The loss will , as any loss, stick with you and come and go.  Pet loss is true loss as any other grief.  Do not let others diminish the loss or make you feel crazy for grieving the loss of a pet.  Do not let others discredit the loss because it is not a human being.  Instead grieve and allow the bereavement process to take its path.  When later you are able to smile at pictures and remember the good days, then do so, but do not rush the process.


A terminal diagnosis of a pet can be heartbreaking.  Understand the options and utilize the time you have left properly.  Never allow anyone to diminish the loss or make it seem not significant.  Grieve and grow and always remember the special love shared between you and your baby.

Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Counseling Support Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals


Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.  The Pet Loss Program is a specialty program within the American Academy of Grief Counseling that primarily focuses on the unique grief of pet loss.

Additional Resources

“End of Life Care for Pets FAQ”. WebMed Contributing Editor. (2023). WebMed.  Access here

“When to Put a Dog Down: 8 Signs it Might Be Time”. Pendergrasse, J. (2023). GreatPetCare.  Access here

“How to Cope When Your Dog is Dying: 19 Tips”. Vasquez, A. (2023). Cake. Access here

“End of Life Care”. ASPCA.  Access here

Financial Costs of Pet Euthanasia

Euthanizing a pet is a painful experience.  Despite the pain and suffering, there is still a cost to consider.  Costs sometimes are the last thing on the mind of a pet parent, but costs to euthanize vary from clinic to clinic and pet to pet.  In addition, cremation costs and memorial urns can also add cost to the already painful event.  Like post planning funerals, sometimes it may be wise to just get an idea what the costs can incur by asking, looking into possible pet insurance and looking for future memorial urns.  Unfortunately, dogs do not live decades.  This is the only downside to a dog.  The pure love burns so bright and intense but so shortly.  They are angels in a symbolic sense sent from heaven to teach us unconditional love.  We may love only one, or many but each one is unique and loved.  The reality of euthanasia comes fast and we need to be ready.

Preparing for death is a painful thought especially if its a pet. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Certification


The article, “Dog Euthanasia: What Is The Cost Of Saying Goodbye?” by Meera Pal takes a closer look at the costs, variations and types of insurances associated with dog euthanasia.   She states,

“With all the joys that come with bringing a dog into your family, one of the most difficult decisions will be determining when it’s time to say goodbye to your beloved friend. We all hope that when the time comes, our dogs will simply pass away in their sleep. But that’s usually not the case, and end-of-life decisions must be made by owners to put them out of their suffering. But just like every other aspect of your dog’s life, choosing how and when they die is something you should prepare for before the time comes. It’s important to consider all your options to make the most informed decision for your pet that also honors their memory.”

“Dog Euthanasia: What Is The Cost Of Saying Goodbye?”. Pal, M. (2023). Forbes Advisor

To read the entire article, please click here

Letting go of  dog or any pet is painful.  It is a financial reality but a necessary one.  We bury our loved ones and pets and dogs are no different.  It is bad enough to deal with the pains of remorse, guilt of letting go, and compassion to the suffering the dog is in, to much less even fathom the economic situation.


Losing a beloved pet is one of the most difficult experiences any pet owner can face. When the time comes to say goodbye to your furry friend, there are many factors to consider, including the financial cost of dog euthanasia. Understanding these costs can help you plan and budget accordingly, ensuring that you can provide the best possible care for your pet until the very end. In this article, we will explore the various factors that affect the cost of dog euthanasia, the average expenses involved, additional costs to consider, and affordable options for those on a tight budget. By understanding the financial implications of dog euthanasia, you can make the best decision for your beloved pet without adding unnecessary stress during an already difficult time. Pet Loss Grief Support can also aid an individual in sorting through the various emotions tied to the event.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Dog Euthanasia

When it comes to the cost of dog euthanasia, there are several factors that can influence the final price. One of the main factors is the location where the euthanasia will take place. Veterinary clinics in different areas may have varying price ranges, so it is important to research and compare costs in your specific region. Additionally, the size and weight of your dog can also impact the cost. Larger dogs may require more medication or additional assistance from veterinary staff, which can increase the overall expense.

The financial cost is never compared to the personal lost and pain of saying goodbye to a beloved dog. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Program


Another factor to consider is whether you choose to have the euthanasia performed at a veterinary clinic or in the comfort of your own home. In-home euthanasia services often come with an additional fee for the convenience and personalized care provided. While this option may be more expensive, it can provide a more peaceful and familiar environment for your beloved pet during their final moments.

Lastly, the specific euthanasia method chosen can also affect the cost. There are different methods available, such as intravenous injection or sedation followed by injection, and the price may vary depending on the method used. It is important to discuss the options with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate choice for your dog’s individual needs.

Average Cost of Dog Euthanasia

The average cost of dog euthanasia can vary depending on the factors mentioned earlier. On average, the cost can range anywhere from $50 to $300 or more. However, it is essential to keep in mind that this is just the cost for the euthanasia procedure itself and does not include any additional expenses that may be incurred.

It is important to note that the cost of euthanasia can also depend on whether you choose to have your dog cremated or buried. These additional services can add to the overall expense. Cremation costs are typically between $100 and $500, depending on the type of cremation (private or communal) and any additional memorial services you may choose. Burial costs can vary widely depending on whether you have a private burial plot or use a pet cemetery.

Additional Costs to Consider when Euthanizing a Dog

In addition to the cost of the euthanasia procedure itself, there are other expenses to consider when euthanizing a dog. These additional costs can include:

  1. Pre-euthanasia consultations: Your veterinarian may recommend a consultation prior to the euthanasia procedure to discuss your dog’s condition and any concerns you may have. These consultations are typically billed separately from the euthanasia procedure itself.
  2. Aftercare options: As mentioned earlier, the cost of cremation or burial should be taken into account. Additionally, there may be additional fees for memorial services or urns if you choose to have your dog’s ashes returned to you.
  3. Euthanasia-related medications: Depending on your dog’s condition, they may require medications to manage pain or anxiety prior to the euthanasia procedure. These medications can add to the overall cost.
  4. Grief counseling: Dealing with the loss of a pet can be emotionally challenging. If you find yourself struggling to cope with the grief, seeking professional counseling services may be beneficial, but it is important to consider the associated cost.

Understanding these additional costs can help you plan accordingly and avoid any unexpected financial burdens during an already difficult time.

Understanding the Financial Implications of Dog Euthanasia

The financial implications of dog euthanasia can be significant, especially when considering all the factors and additional costs involved. It is crucial to be prepared and have a clear understanding of your financial situation before making the decision to euthanize your pet.

One way to mitigate the financial impact is to plan ahead and budget for these expenses. Consider setting aside a dedicated fund for pet healthcare costs, including euthanasia. This can help alleviate some of the financial stress when the time comes to say goodbye to your furry friend.

Another option to consider is pet insurance. While pet insurance typically does not cover euthanasia costs directly, having insurance can provide financial relief for other veterinary expenses leading up to the euthanasia procedure. It is important to review the coverage details of any insurance policy to determine what is included and what is not.

Lastly, some organizations and charities offer financial assistance for pet owners who are unable to afford the cost of euthanasia. These resources can vary depending on your location, so it is worth researching and reaching out to local animal welfare organizations or veterinary clinics to inquire about any available support.

Affordable Options for Dog Euthanasia

If you are on a tight budget, there are affordable options available for dog euthanasia. Many animal shelters and low-cost veterinary clinics offer euthanasia services at a reduced price. These organizations understand the emotional and financial challenges associated with pet euthanasia and strive to provide compassionate care at an affordable cost.

Additionally, some veterinary schools or teaching hospitals may offer discounted or subsidized euthanasia services as part of their educational programs. While these options may involve a longer wait time or additional paperwork, they can provide a more affordable alternative for pet owners with limited financial resources.

It is important to remember that affordability should not be the sole factor in your decision-making process. The quality of care and the comfort of your pet should always be the top priority. Discussing your financial concerns with your veterinarian can help you explore different options and find the best solution for your specific situation.

Planning Ahead: Budgeting for Dog Euthanasia

Planning ahead for a sad day is never pleasant but it is also important


Planning ahead and budgeting for dog euthanasia can help alleviate some of the financial stress when the time comes to say goodbye to your pet. Here are some steps you can take to plan and budget effectively:

  1. Research costs: Start by researching the average costs of euthanasia in your area, including any additional fees for aftercare services. This will give you a baseline to work with when budgeting.
  2. Create a dedicated fund: Consider setting up a separate savings account specifically for pet healthcare costs, including euthanasia. Regularly contribute to this fund to ensure that you have enough resources when the time comes.
  3. Explore pet insurance: Look into pet insurance policies that cover veterinary expenses. While euthanasia costs may not be directly covered, insurance can help alleviate other financial burdens leading up to the procedure.
  4. Consider payment plans: Some veterinary clinics offer payment plans or financing options for pet owners who may not be able to pay the full cost upfront. Inquire with your veterinarian about any available payment options.

By taking these proactive steps, you can be better prepared financially and ensure that you can provide the best possible care for your pet until the very end.

Resources for Financial Assistance with Dog Euthanasia

If you are facing financial difficulties and are unable to afford the cost of dog euthanasia, there are resources available to help. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Local animal welfare organizations: Reach out to local animal welfare organizations or pet rescue groups in your area. These organizations may have funds dedicated to assisting pet owners in need.
  2. Veterinary clinics: Some veterinary clinics offer financial assistance programs or may be able to work out a payment plan for pet owners facing financial challenges. It is worth inquiring with your veterinarian about any available options.
  3. Charitable foundations: There are charitable foundations that provide financial assistance specifically for veterinary care, including euthanasia costs. Research and reach out to these organizations to inquire about any available support.
  4. Crowdfunding: Online crowdfunding platforms can also be a resource for financial assistance. Sharing your story and reaching out to friends, family, and the wider community can help raise funds to cover the costs of euthanasia.

Remember to be proactive and reach out to these resources as early as possible. Many of these programs have limited funding and may require some time to process applications, so it is important to start the process early to ensure timely assistance.

Dealing with the Emotional and Financial Aftermath of Dog Euthanasia

The loss of a beloved pet can be emotionally and financially challenging. It is essential to give yourself time to grieve and process your emotions. Surround yourself with a support system that understands the bond between humans and animals.

Noone is ever ready to say goodbye but when the time comes, grieving is natural and sometimes individuals need pet loss grief support


In terms of the financial aftermath, it is important to review your budget and make any necessary adjustments. Take into account the ongoing costs of pet ownership that will no longer be applicable, such as food, grooming, and medical care. Consider redirecting those funds towards building an emergency pet care fund or saving for future pet-related expenses.

If you find yourself struggling with the emotional or financial aftermath of dog euthanasia, do not hesitate to seek professional help. Grief counseling and Pet Loss Grief Support counseling can provide valuable support and guidance during this difficult time.

Conclusion: Making the Best Decision for Your Beloved Pet

Deciding to euthanize a beloved pet is never easy, and the financial cost is just one aspect to consider. It is crucial to weigh the financial implications alongside the emotional well-being of your pet. By understanding the factors that affect the cost of dog euthanasia, budgeting effectively, and exploring available resources, you can make the best decision for your furry friend while minimizing unnecessary financial stress.

Remember that you are not alone in this journey. Seek support from friends, family, and professionals who can help guide you through the process. Cherish the memories you shared with your pet and take solace in the knowledge that you provided them with love and care until the very end.

Please also review AICHP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pet Loss Grief Support

Additional Resources

“Pet Euthanasia: Everything You Need to Know”. Gillette, L. (2022). PetMD. Access here

“Euthanasia: Making the Decision”. American Humane.  Access here

“End-of-life services”. American Humane Society.  Access here

“Pet Euthanasia: How to Know When It’s Time to Put Your Dog or Cat Down”. Klein, J. (2021). American Kennel Club.  Access here

“What Happens When You Put Your Pet to Sleep?”. WebMD Editorial Staff. (2022). WebMD. Access here



A Lost Pet and Grief Video

A lost pet can bring great anxiety.  During the frantic moments one needs to be decisive and quick to try to find the lost pet.  As time progresses, long term solutions to be employed to try to find him or her.   Unfortunately, despite all efforts, sometimes a pet is never found.  There is a battle between hope and despair and when to let go or not let go.  There is also a host of emotions ranging from anger and blaming to guilt and grief. This type of grief is an unresolved grief because noone ever discovers the ultimate fate of one’s animal.

A lost pet can lead to unresolved grief. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Certification


Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pet Loss Grief Support

Please review the video below

Children and Pet Loss Video

Children express loss differently than adults.  Depending on the age, children in pre-operational age may understand loss quite differently than older children.  Ideas of non-permanence of death, or magical thinking are all common issues that can exist within a child.  Furthermore, understanding analogies about death can confuse the child.  Many times, parents hide the first experience of death of a pet from a child.  This robs the child of learning about death and life.  Also, sometimes parents will keep children apart from the process of saying good bye to a dying pet.  This to can cause grieving issues for the child.

Children need to understand and be involved when pet is dying. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Program

It is important for children depending on age to play a certain role in understanding and partaking in the event of death.  Keeping it hidden or keeping them away from the event does not help the child grieve or learn about life and death itself.

Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pet Loss Support.



Please review the video below

When a Pet is Lost

The anxiety and pain associated with a misplaced loved one is tremendous.  A parent that discovers a son or daughter soldier that is overseas that becomes missing in action, or a lost child, if even for those first seconds at a store are intense pains.  The continuing agony over the next days, months and years lead to a unresolved and ambigiuous grief that has no ending or conclusion to heal from.   The constant suffering of wondering what happened can torture the soul.   The desire to hope can also be a paradox.  On one side, hope can be inspirational, but on the other side, it can become delusional and a prevention from acceptance and adaptation to the loss.   This deep fog of grief with no conclusion can lead individuals to variety paths of despair or unhealthy hope.

Unresolved Loss in Losing a Pet

It is important to not forget pet owners.  This disenfranchised group many times are overlooked in pet deaths.  The common quirks that is only a cat or dog, or one can simply get another one are all too common insensitive remarks that pet owners are exposed to.  It is no wonder then, that pet owners are sometimes also forgotten when a pet is stolen or lost.  It is important to not assume that many of the same feelings of anxiety and depression are not present for a pet owner.

There is nothing more terrifying and anxiety inducing than losing a pet. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Certification


In fact, a pet owner who loses a dog or cat, or has a pet stolen will indeed experience the same questions.  They will wonder what happened, or if my pet is OK, or if my pet is hurt, or if my pet is being treated horribly and these thoughts will torture them.  As the years go by, the same imprint of doubt will exist within the pet owner.  They will experience the same trauma as any person who loses a loved one.  Of course, some pet owners, may  not form attachments with their pets, as some, but for those who understand the true bond between human and pet, the pain remains the same.

Imagine losing a dog and never knowing what became of the once beloved dog that everyday welcomed you home and depended on your love and care?  When dogs or cats or horses or other pets are lost or stolen, the same fears, doubts and anxiety exist in pet owners.   There is also the same decision to give up hope or to continue the belief that maybe one day one will be reunited.  There is also the emotion of falling into complete despair and giving up.  Ultimately, the inability to form some type of conclusion as to what happened to one’s pet can keep one up all night.  Unlike, a pet who had died, one is left with terrifying thoughts of what possibly could have happened.  Was my pet hit by a car and left to the side of the road?  Was my pet mistreated by some unscrupulous person?  Was my pet hopefully found by a loving person?

Sometimes good things can happen.  For those lamenting the most horrible, allow me to introduce one small story.  My family discovered one day on the side of the road a beautiful black and white Siberian Husky.  As a family that loves Siberian Huskies, my family immediately retrieved the hungry and tired boy and fed him and gave him shelter.  Various online and paper ads were given out but to no answer.  After numerous months, the Siberian Husky became well adjusted to his new family and other dogs.  He lived a long 8 to 10 years and had a very loving and peaceful happy death.

Hope, Despair, Guilt, Blame

So hope or despair?  How the mind copes in unresolved grief varies on individuals.   Resiliency, support mechanisms, and outlooks all vary from person to person in these types of losses.  It important to note that since it grants no finality, this type of grief is prolonged, can lead to severe anxiety and also develop into depression.  When individuals fail to cope, they can lose interest in daily life and activities.  They can also start to isolate and find little joy in life.  When these situations occur, it is imperative to find the proper professional counseling that can help with cognitive therapies or provide necessary medications.  Some pet owners may also in their despair enter into extreme guilt.  They will second guess their choices or wish they would have done this or that, or they may have been temporarily angry at their pet before the pet went missing.  These issues of guilt will need addressed in counseling and logically dismissed.  There is also the issue of resentment and blaming of other family members who may have made a mistake in letting the pet loose.  In these events, all parties are deeply hurt and sad and once passed the raw emotion, it is time to move past and forgive.  The reality is one’s pet is greatly loved and despite short comings or mistakes, or could have or would have scenarios, one needs to focus on the love that was shared not the mistakes or temporary emotions.

The pain of not knowing what has happened with one’s pet is the greatest pain of unresolved and ambiguous grief


If one chooses to hope, then this should not be dismissed.  Obviously, one must identify pathological hoping that places unrealistic expectations and negative coping.  For instance, if one feels they can never again leave the house for fear they may miss the return of their dog, or develop sleep disorders for fear of missing the sound of a bark, then an individual may need professional help, but if one wishes to push forth hope in productive ways, then it can be a beneficial way to help adjust to the loss itself.

Many individuals who deal with unresolved grief through missing persons utilize their energy in ways to produce social change.  For MIA soldiers, many families may form organizations or movements that bring recognition to it.  Some who lose a pet may feel the need to supply helpful tips to prevent losing a pet or bring recognition to various animal shelters, or be a voice against animal abuse.  In this way, their energy and loss bears some fruit and value and ultimately allows one to find some purpose in the loss itself.

How Can I Prevent Losing a Dog or Cat or Horse?

Despite all best efforts, a pet can get loose, run away, or be stolen but there are some preventative measures one can take to minimize these things.  First, it is important to tag your animal with a collar with appropriate contact information.  Second, all pets should be electronically chipped.  One can even list on the tag that your pet is electronically chipped if someone finds your pet.  In addition, one can have trackers put into a pet’s collar that sends information to one’s cell phone.  Of course, this is only as good as the collar staying around the pet’s neck and the device’s battery charge.  Third, be sure that your surrounding neighbors know your pet and his or her name.  Fourth, secure your home.  Ensure visitors understand that doors need shut and windows need closed.  Many individuals need to build fences around their home.  Ensure your fence is equipped for the task and make any modifications needed.   Fifth, purchase proper collars and walking gear that is equipped for the breed’s urges and size. Sixth, when walking your pets, let them know their surroundings.  Let them mark the surrounding areas and teach them the word “home” in case they ever become lost.   Seventh, train your pet to return when called upon.  Treat and positive reinforcement for returning upon call are critical. Eighth, know your breed.  Some cats may be outside cats and return, other may be more nomadic. In regards to dogs, some breeds have great homing abilities, while other breeds like Siberian Huskies, will run and run until they become completely lost.  Some breeds may chase small mammals and become easily lost as well.

Make sure to chip your pet and ensure all vital information is listed on his collar ID


When losing a pet, it is important to discern when.  Quickly running out and looking is imperative to tracking down a pet but unfortunately sometimes, pets vanish when while one is away or asleep or preoccupied, it is important to be decisive within the first hours, days and weeks.  In my personal experience, I have lost pets from 20 minutes to 2 hours to a full week.  Every single one of incidents is an anxiety ridden and fear filled episode of life.  So it is critical to be proactive early.   After searching and calling friends and family and even stopping every stranger on road if he or she has seen one’s pet, one must remain proactive.  This includes calling all vet clinics.  If one’s pet is chipped, there is a good chance a good Samaritan will take one’s pet to a local vet.  The more clinics called, the better chances of finding one’s pet if indeed he or she was picked up.   In addition to animal clinics, one should also contact animal shelters and any municipal animal centers as well as fire, police and mail services.  In addition, posting on FB and other social media platforms can be extremely helpful.  Numerous times, individuals post they have found a dog.  In fact, this is how I found one of my Siberian Husky’s through a random person on a bike who said he had seen the description of my dog on his feed.  (Miraculous).    Yet despite the 21st Century many social marvels, do not discount the power of basic 20th Century social contacting by merely posting a picture on a telephone pole or listing an ad in the paper with promise of reward.


It is my sincere hope, losing a pet is never permanent, but for those who suffer this deep pain, realize there are support groups and professional help that will recognize your pain.

Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals


For those looking to help others with pet loss or losing a pet, please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Program.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pet Loss Grief Support.


Additional Resources

“Incomplete Endings: Coping With a Runaway or Lost Pet”. Clark, A. (2017). Psychology Today. Access here

“Lost Dog? What to Do If Your Pet Goes Missing”. AKC Staff. (2021). American Kennel Club. Access here

“What Ambiguous Loss Is and How To Deal With It”. HealthEssentials. (2022). Cleveland Clinic.  Access here

“What Is Ambiguous Grief and How to Begin Healing”. Sarazln, S. (2023). Psychology Today.  Access here



Children and Pet Loss

Pet loss is painful for anyone but it can be especially confusing and painful for children.  Children have different levels of understanding regarding death and it is important to relay to children the reality of death in a straight forward but sensitive way.  Hiding the death, or trying to shield the child from the reality of death is not a good way to help the child process the loss.  Instead it is important to share with the child what occurred and the how to properly grieve the loss.

For many children, the loss of a pet is their first experience with death. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Certification


Losing a pet can sometimes be a child’s first experience with death.  Whether simply a goldfish, it can provide an excellent learning opportunity.  While more painful, losing a cat or dog, it can equally help the child understand the reality of life and death.  The article, “Talking with Kids About the Loss of a Pet” by Hilary Lebow looks at ways to help children better cope with the death of a pet.  She states,

“Each child processes grief differently. Though it’s painful, the loss of a pet can be an important opportunity to help children learn how to handle difficult experiences. A combination of talking about the death and closure activities can help you and your child heal.”

“Talking with Kids About the Loss of a Pet”. Hilary Lebow. May 18th, 2022. PsychCentral

To review the entire article, please click here

Understanding children’s perception of death

Before discussing pet loss with your child, it’s important to understand their perception of death. Children, especially young ones, may not fully understand the finality of death. They may not realize that their pet will never come back, or they may not understand that death is permanent. It’s important to be patient and understanding when talking to your child about death, and to use age-appropriate language that they can understand.

It’s also important to note that children may have different reactions to death depending on their age, personality, and previous experiences with loss. Some children may become sad or tearful, while others may be confused or angry. It’s important to be prepared for a range of emotions and reactions from your child, and to offer them support and understanding throughout the process.

Honesty is the best policy: How to talk to your child about pet loss

When explaining the death of a pet to your child, it’s important to be honest and straightforward. Use clear and simple language that your child can understand, and avoid using euphemisms such as “put to sleep” or “passed away”. While these phrases may seem gentler, they can also be confusing for children and may lead to misunderstandings about death.  Sometimes saying a pet went away is not enough information because the child has a difficult time understanding why the pet cannot come back.  This is why helping children realize that death is a permanent state is important in helping the child cope with the loss properly.


Honesty is the best policy when discussing pet death with a child


In many cases, the loss of a pet is the first experience of death for a child.  Whether it is a simple fish or as difficult as losing the family dog, the event is a learning experience for the child.

It’s also important to give your child the opportunity to ask questions and express their feelings. Let them know that it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or confused, and that you are there to support them through the process. Encourage them to talk about their memories of the pet, and to share any thoughts or feelings they may be having.

Explaining death in an age-appropriate way

When discussing pet loss with your child, it’s important to use age-appropriate language and explanations. Younger children may not understand the concept of death, and may need simpler explanations such as “Fluffy’s body stopped working and she can’t come back”. Older children may have a better understanding of death, and may benefit from more detailed explanations about the body and how it works.

It’s also important to be prepared for questions that your child may have about death and dying. They may ask about what happens to the body after death, or about what death feels like. Be honest and open with your child, and answer their questions to the best of your ability.

Dealing with grief: Coping mechanisms for children

After the death of a pet, children may experience a range of emotions including sadness, anger, and guilt. It’s important to offer them support and understanding during this time, and to help them find healthy coping mechanisms to deal with their grief.

Encourage your child to express their feelings through writing, drawing, or talking to someone they trust. You may also want to consider seeking out support groups or counseling services for children who are struggling with grief.

The role of rituals and memorializing in the grieving process

Rituals and memorializing can play an important role in helping children cope with the loss of a pet. This can include creating a memorial or tribute to the pet, such as a photo album or a special piece of art. You may also want to consider holding a funeral or memorial service for the pet, where your child can say goodbye and share their memories with others.

Helping your child understand the cycle of life and death

One way to help your child cope with pet loss is to help them understand the cycle of life and death. Talk to them about how all living things have a beginning, middle, and end, and how death is a natural part of life. You may also want to talk to them about the concept of an afterlife, and about how their pet may still be with them in spirit.

Supporting your child through the grieving process

As your child works through their grief, it’s important to continue to offer them love and support. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and memories, and to express themselves in healthy ways. Offer them comfort and reassurance, and let them know that you are there for them no matter what.

When to seek professional help

While grief is a natural part of the grieving process, some children may struggle with it more than others. If your child is experiencing severe or prolonged grief, or if they are having difficulty functioning in their daily life, it may be time to seek professional help. A counselor or therapist can help your child work through their feelings and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Those with certification specialties in Pet Loss Grief Support can play roles in helping one better cope with the loss of a pet.

Conclusion: Remembering and honoring the life of your beloved pet

Honoring and remembering the pet will help the child cope and grieve is his own way and help him commemorate and remember the life of the pet in a positive manner


Losing a pet can be a difficult experience for both children and adults. However, by being honest and supportive with your child, you can help them understand and cope with the experience. Remember to use age-appropriate language and explanations, encourage your child to express their feelings, and offer them comfort and support throughout the grieving process. And most importantly, remember to honor and remember the life of your beloved pet, and the joy and love they brought to your family.

Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pet Loss Grief Support.

Additional Resources

“How to cope with the death of your pet”. The Humane Society of the United States.  Access here

“An Age-by-Age Guide to Explaining the Death of a Pet to Children”. Rachel Sokol. April 23rd, 2023. Family Education.  Access here

“6 Family Friendly Ways to Help Kids Grieve After Pet Loss”. Meredith Gordon Resnick L.C.S.W.  July 9th, 2015. Psychology Today.  Access here

“When a Pet Dies, Helping Children Through the ‘Worst Day of Their Lives’”. Juli Fraga.  June 8th, 2017.  The New York Times.  Access here

Dealing with Pet Loss Grief and How to Help Others.

By – James M. Katz, BA

As a pet owner, losing a beloved furry friend can be one of the most heart-wrenching experiences. The emotional toll of pet loss grief is often underestimated, leaving many pet owners feeling alone and overwhelmed. In this article, I will discuss the emotional toll of pet loss grief, the symptoms, coping mechanisms, dealing with guilt and regrets, navigating through the pain, support groups and resources, helping children cope, memorializing your pet, and finding closure to move forward.

Introduction to Pet Loss Grief

When a pet dies, it can feel like losing a family member. The emotional bond between a pet and its owner is strong, and the loss can be devastating. Pet loss grief is a normal and natural response to losing a pet. It is important to recognize and acknowledge the intense feelings that come with pet loss grief.

The article below goes in depth into how long people normally grieve as well as techniques you can use for yourself and others. It was especially impressive how to singled out a key point. Dealing with the loss of a pet is no different than grieving over the loss of a family member.

In one 2019 study, researchers found that 25% of owners ‘took between 3 and 12 months to accept the loss of their pet, 50% between 12 and 19 months, and 25% took between 2 and 6 years, to recover’.
Clearly, more of us are struggling than we might care to recognise. So, we spoke to grief and bereavement expert, Lianna Champ, about the best ways to remove the stigma and tackle this strangely taboo issue.
With over 40 years’ experience and a practical guide, How to Grieve like a Champ, under her belt, Lianna is an expert in how to deal with loss of any kind, including your pets. This is what she told us.

Full Article Here 

Commentary:Cat memorial marker in a pet cemetery.

Understanding Pet Loss Grief: The Emotional Toll

Pet loss grief can be a complicated and intense emotional process. It is a unique experience for each pet owner, as every relationship with a pet is different. The loss of a pet can trigger a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, and loneliness. It is common to feel like a part of yourself is missing, and you may find yourself constantly thinking about your pet.

Pet loss grief can also impact physical health. It is not uncommon for pet owners to experience physical symptoms such as loss of appetite, insomnia, and fatigue. The emotional toll of pet loss grief can make it difficult to function in daily life, and it is important to take care of yourself during this time.

Symptoms of Pet Loss Grief

Pet loss grief can manifest in a variety of ways. Some common symptoms include:

• Intense sadness and crying
• Feelings of guilt and regret
• Anger and frustration
• Anxiety and depression
• Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
• Loss of appetite or overeating
• Insomnia or oversleeping

It is important to recognize that these symptoms are a normal part of the grieving process. It is okay to feel a wide range of emotions, and it is important to give yourself permission to grieve.

Coping Mechanisms for Pet Loss Grief

Coping with pet loss grief can be challenging, but there are many ways to navigate through the pain. One of the most important things you can do is to allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with grief. It is okay to cry, be angry, and feel sad.

Talking to others about your grief can also be helpful. Friends and family members may be able to offer comfort and support during this difficult time. Writing in a journal or participating in creative activities such as drawing or painting can also provide an outlet for expressing emotions.
Self-care is also important during the grieving process. Taking care of your physical health by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising can help improve your mental health. It is also important to be patient with yourself and to allow yourself time to grieve.

Dealing with Guilt and Regrets After Pet Loss

Many pet owners experience guilt and regrets after the loss of a pet. You may find yourself questioning whether you did enough for your pet or if you made the right decisions regarding their care. It is important to remember that you did the best you could with the information and resources available to you at the time.

It can be helpful to write down your feelings of guilt and regrets and to discuss them with a trusted friend or family member. Talking through these feelings can help you gain perspective and find peace with your decisions.

Navigating Through the Pain of Pet Loss Grief

Navigating through the pain of pet loss grief is a process that takes time. It is important to be patient with yourself and to allow yourself to grieve. It is okay to seek professional help if you are struggling to cope with the loss of your pet. Therapy can provide a safe and supportive environment to process your emotions and work through the grieving process.

Support Groups and Resources for Pet Loss Grief

There are many support groups and resources available for pet owners who are grieving the loss of a pet. These resources can provide comfort and support during a difficult time. Some resources include:

• Pet loss hotlines
• Online support groups
• Grief counseling
• Pet loss books and literature
• Pet loss memorial services

Helping Children Cope with Pet Loss Grief

Losing a pet can be especially difficult for children. It is important to talk to children about the loss of their pet in an age-appropriate way. Encouraging children to express their emotions and providing a safe space for them to grieve can be helpful.

It can also be helpful to involve children in memorializing their pet. Creating a memorial or planting a tree in memory of their pet can provide a sense of closure and comfort.

Memorializing Your Pet

Memorializing your pet can be a meaningful way to honor their memory. There are many ways to memorialize your pet, including:

• Creating a photo album or scrapbook
• Planting a tree or garden in memory of your pet
• Donating to an animal charity in memory of your pet
• Creating a memorial plaque or stone for your pet’s grave

Moving Forward After Pet Loss: Finding Closure

Finding closure after the loss of a pet can be a long and difficult process. It is important to take the time to grieve and to allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with pet loss grief.

Creating a memorial for your pet can provide a sense of closure and comfort. It is also important to remember the happy times you shared with your pet and to celebrate their life.


Losing a pet can be one of the most difficult experiences a pet owner can face. The emotional toll of pet loss grief can be intense and overwhelming. It is important to recognize and acknowledge the feelings that come with pet loss grief and to allow yourself to grieve.

Coping mechanisms such as talking to others, self-care, and seeking professional help can be helpful during the grieving process. Memorializing your pet can also provide a sense of closure and comfort. Remembering the happy times you shared with your pet can help you find peace and move forward after pet loss grief.

If you are a good listener and have excellent people skills then you might be interested in training to become a pet loss grief counselor. We offer a full program designed to teach you techniques designed to help others deal with the loss of their pets. For details please follow this link.


Helpguide.org: Guide to Pet Loss

Cleveland Clinic: Loss of a Pet

Additional Resources:

Online Survey as Empathic Bridging for the Disenfranchised Grief of Pet Loss. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying, Packman, W., Carmack, B. J., Katz, R., Carlos, F., Field, N. P., & Landers, C. (2014).  69(4), 333–356. https://doi.org/10.2190/OM.69.4.a
Access link here 

Veterinary social work: Practice within veterinary settings, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, T. Melissa Holcombe, Elizabeth B. Strand, William R. Nugent & Zenithson Y. Ng (2016)  26:1, 69-80, DOI: 10.1080/10911359.2015.1059170
Access link here 

Older women’s experiences of companion animal death: impacts on well-being and aging-in-place. Wilson, D.M., Underwood, L., Carr, E. et al.  BMC Geriatr 21, 470 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-021-02410-8
Access link here 

Pet Loss: Understanding Disenfranchised Grief, Memorial Use, and Posttraumatic Growth, Breeanna Spain, Lisel O’Dwyer & Stephen Moston (2019)  Anthrozoös, 32:4, 555-568, DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2019.1621545
Access link here 

When It Is Time To Say Goodbye To A Pet

Unfortunately, pets grow older.  Whether its a bird, cat, dog or horse, pets get older.  The differences between an energetic young pup to an older dog is quite amazing but it is a natural process of life.  Like our human friends, our pet friends age and understanding the changes, limitations and when it is time to let go are difficult things to accept.  Many individuals have a hard time making the decision to euthanize a pet, or say goodbye.  This is quite natural since pets are family.  It is hard to say goodbye to anyone we love but with animals, the choice is always ours.  Animals are like children and do not understand aging or death, but it is up to their human parents to guide them through it.  The pet loss grief will be intense, but owners need to be strong for their pet.

It is not an easy decision to say finally goodbye to an old or terminal pet. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Counseling Program


Pets need love and presence when the that fateful days comes.  After limitations to movement, eating, digestion and quality of life erode, the owner must make the difficult case to help ease the transition of one’s pet to the next life.  Sometimes the day is picked in advance, other times, the horrible decision falls suddenly.  Regardless, owners need to be there for their pets.  They need to hold them and keep them comfortable.  They need to ensure their pet dies with comfort and dignity if possible.  The simple presence can reassure a pet during his or her passing.  This simple act of kindness to a good friend can make it so much easier on the pet.

One thing everyone should remember is pets are parts of our life, but to a pet, we are their entire life.  As much as we would like to have our pets live a long as we do, it is not possible.  Human life span is almost immortal in relationship to a dog.  Humans may have multiple pets and love them all equally without forgetting any, but the owner is the everything to a pet.  It is good to remember these faithful friends and grant them the most dignified death possible.

The article, “How to Know When It’s Time to Say Goodbye to a Pet” by Laurie Dove takes a closer look at signs and signals that it may be time to euthanize a pet.  The article acknowledges the difficult decision but points out that pets deserve to die with dignity if certain movements or qualities of life are no longer present.  Many times it may be a difficult answer, no one answer is white or black in making this difficult decision, but certain elements will appear when the time does come.  The article mentions mobility, hygiene, pain, hunger, thirst and energy as all things to take into consideration.  Ultimately, Dove states,

“It’s tough see your dog or cat grow old or get sick, but it’s even harder to think about putting them to sleep. Something just doesn’t feel right when you know your pet’s “death” is scheduled via an appointment with their veterinarian — and you had to make that call. While the intensely personal process for making an end-of-life decision for your pet is rife with the complexities surrounding death and grief, it’s a decision that you simply can’t ignore. But how do you know when the time is right?”

“How to Know When It’s Time to Say Goodbye to a Pet”.  Laurie Love. October 11th, 2022. HowStuffWorks?

To read the entire article, please click here


Pet death loss can be an emotionally devastating experience for many individuals, as it often involves the disruption of a significant bond between animal and owner. In cases where this bond is strong, pet death loss can lead to complicated reactions on the part of the bereaved, including feelings of guilt and intense grief. Such feelings can manifest in various forms such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and rumination. Furthermore, pet death loss has been associated with lower levels of social support.  Such losses have been studied extensively within the field of psychology, where it has been characterized as an attachment-based bereavement experience.  This loss can also be equal to any type of human loss based on the above considerations.

Pet Loss Grief Counseling is sometimes necessary after letting a pet go. Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Counseling Certification


Knowing When to Let Go

Euthanasia is a difficult and often emotionally charged decision for pet owners, requiring careful analysis of the situation. When confronted with the need to euthanize an animal companion, it is best to consider both physical and emotional factors. On the physical level, veterinarians typically consider whether the pet’s health issues are terminal and/or significantly compromising their quality of life.  This act entails the intentional termination of life for a pet suffering from a terminal illness or experiencing severe and irremediable pain in order to alleviate their suffering. In such circumstances, it is important to consider the quality of life for the animal in question, as well as the emotional impact on owners who may be struggling with feelings of guilt or grief.

One should consider a variety of issues.  First and foremost, is it a selfish motive keeping a suffering pet alive.  True love for a pet sometimes involves sacrificing and allowing an older pet with terminal symptoms to find peace.  However, there are signs that one should look for that include dietary changes.  Is the animal able to eat, digest, and find nourishment.  Is the pet hungry or constantly thirsty?  Does the pet have energy?  Is the pet in constant pain?  Is mobility affected?  These are important things to consider when making a difficult decision regarding one’s pet.

It can be very painful to make this decision, but as a pet parent, sometimes tough decisions need to be made for the overall welfare and state of the pet.

Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Video on making this difficult decision.  Review the video below



Letting go of a pet child is never easy.  It is not supposed to be easy.  Saying goodbye can be a difficult decision but this decision is always made with love and respect for the dignity of the pet.  It is the final option but is also the most merciful option.

If after saying goodbye to one’s pet, one needs pet loss grief counseling, then one should consider working with a professional expressing this type of loss.  Many times, individuals are mocked or disregarded after the loss of a pet.  This type of disfranchisement is common with pet loss.  Individuals do not consider it as important as losing a human friend. The reality is that losing a pet can be equal or even greater.  Many individuals grieve very hard over the loss of a pet because pets are family.

If you would like to help others better deal and cope with pet loss, then please review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Counseling Certification.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pet Loss Grief Counseling.


Additional Resources

“How Do You Know When to Put a Dog Down?”. Liz Bales. VMD. August 8th, 2019. PetMD. Access here

“Euthanasia: Making the Decision”.  August 25th, 2016. American Humane.  Access here

“When Should You Euthanize a Pet?”. Jessica Pierce. February 16th, 2012.  PsychologyToday. Access here

“How Do I Know When it’s Time?” The Ohio State University. Veterinary Medical Center.  Access here

“How to Cope when Your Pet Needs to Be Euthanized”. Chloe Carmichael, PhD and Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA. September 15th, 2021. WikiHow.Pet.  Access here

Pet Loss Grief and Disenfranchisement

Losing a pet is painful in itself.  A pet, especially a dog, cat or even horse can form a special bond with someone.  Due to their intelligence, emotional bond, and even overall meaning to the person, the loss of a pet for some can be as painful as losing a family member.  This is far from crazy or insane but is a true reality.  This is even more so for individuals with few family or friends left.

Still despite this pain, many also suffer from little support in these types of losses.  The loss is dismissed as insignificant or not equal to other losses.  This type of disenfranchised grief is not respected, supported or mourned by others.  Instead the person is left to grieve alone and even feel stigmatized for feeling sadness over the loss.

To many, pets are family and the loss of a pet is horrific. Unfortunately, many downplay the loss of a pet as not as important as human loss.


The article, “Review provides new perspective on grieving the loss of a pet” by Cabi of PsychOrg takes a more in-depth look of this type of disenfranchisement in a discussion with Dr Crossley who works with pet loss grief.  The article discusses the impact of disenfranchisement of pet loss grief but also shows how this type of grief manifests in other types of losses.  It is important, according to Dr Crossley, to help others through any type of loss and not to minimize it.  The article states,

“The researchers say that stigma associated with grieving a loss can complicate the healing process and that counselors would expect to see more clients wanting to discuss their grieving—particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They add that while empathy may come more naturally when discussing human loss, there are other types of loss that are not acknowledged or given a similar amount of attention by society.”

Review provides new perspective on grieving the loss of a pet. Cabi. November 25th, 2022. PsychOrg

To review the article, please click here


It is increasingly evident that pets have evolved from being mere domestic companions to important members of our households. While their presence has long been theorized to provide comfort and alleviation of mental health, recent research indicates that they offer an even more profound impact on our lives. Pets, in fact, are capable of providing a form of social support which can prove beneficial in terms of helping us cope with stress and anxiety.  In specific, dogs have long been established as a source of companionship and friendship, but their role in human life is far more significant than that of a mere friend. In fact, canine-human relationships have been the focus of an increasing amount of interdisciplinary research, demonstrating the neurobiological and psychological benefits associated with these cross-species interactions.

Disenfranchised Grief

Disenfranchised grief is a concept used to refer to those who experience loss that is not adequately acknowledged, understood, or accepted by society. It has been described as the “unrecognized and unacknowledged” losses that individuals face without any societal support or validation. The lack of recognition in such cases means that there is no social ritual or language for expressing these feelings, leaving them unable to grieve formally.

The term ‘disenfranchised grief’ refers to the process by which individuals are unable to adequately express their grief due to a lack of societal recognition or social support for mourning those who have died. In regards to pets, this concept can be particularly relevant as these relationships may not be understood or recognized by others, leaving the bereaved unable to engage in traditional rituals of grief and healing.

Assisting individuals through pet loss is an invaluable component of psychological welfare, as it can serve to promote a sense of connectedness and resilience within the community. By providing a platform for those affected by pet loss to process their grief, pet loss support groups act as an integral mechanism for mitigating the emotional turmoil that often accompanies such a devastating event. Moreover, the therapeutic benefits of discussing one’s experiences with others who understand can ameliorate feelings of isolation and foster mutual understanding between participants.


In conclusion, disenfranchised grief is a unique experience that should be acknowledged, respected, and openly discussed. It affects individuals in different ways and can range from minor inconveniences to more complex issues. It is important that those experiencing disenfranchised grief are offered support and resources to assist them in processing their emotions. Additionally, it is crucial to recognize the existence of disenfranchised grief as it has significant impacts on psychological health.

Pet loss is an incredibly difficult experience to handle. It can bring a range of emotions, but it is important to remember that it is a part of life and that you are not alone in your grief. To help cope with the pain, reach out to a friend or family member for support, join a pet loss support group, or seek professional counselling. Remembering the impact our beloved pets had on us and our lives in a positive light may help us heal.

It is important to help others process this grief by respecting it.  Pet Loss Grief Support specialists can help individuals better process this loss.  They can help others understand that the loss is important and respected.  If qualified, please review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program in Pet Loss Grief Support is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pet Loss Grief Support.

Additional Resources

“Including Pet Loss in Your Grief Counseling Practice”. Lisa Hutchison, LMHC. Counseling Schools.  Access here

“A Beloved Pet’s Death Can Trigger Deep Grief. Finding Support Can Be Tough”. Cara Murez. Nov. 28, 2022.  US. News.  Access here

“Grieving the Loss of a Pet: Why It’s So Hard and Tips for Coping”. Lily Velez. November 29th, 2022. Veterinarians.org.  Access here

“How to Grieve the Death of a Pet”. Healthessentials. October 4th, 2021. Cleveland Clinic. Access here