Support for Coping with the Loss of a Pet

Pet Loss

The bond we form with our companion animals is deep and enduring. While this attachment enriches our lives, it can also make the grief process complicated, particularly in the case of pet euthanasia.

The loss of an animal can have an impact on you that is as great, or greater, than the loss of a family member or human friend. Be prepared for interactions with well-meaning friends who may not understand the depths of your feelings. Be patient with those family members, especially children, who need time to grieve themselves and adjust to the changes in the household.

Over time, you hope to resolve and accept your loss. Even when you have reached a degree of acceptance, feelings of anger, denial, guilt, and depression may reappear. If this does happen, these feelings will usually be less intense. However, it is not always possible to manage these feelings successfully without help.

Grief Support & Memorials

If you or a family member have great difficulty in accepting your animal’s death and cannot resolve feelings of grief and sorrow, you may want to discuss these feelings with a person who is trained to understand the grieving process. You are always welcome to talk to our veterinarians or staff members, who are helpful and compassionate.

Every one of us has had to manage the loss of a beloved pet. However, if you find you’re having persistent difficulty with accepting the loss and managing the grief, here are some local and online support groups that can help:

Pet Loss Support Networks

Animal Medical Center
Tel: (212) 838-8100

Dr. Stephanie LaFarge
Tel: (877) 474-3310

Pet Loss Support Hotline
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Tel: (607) 253-3932
6 – 9 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday

Memorials & Tributes

To assist owners through what can often be a very difficult time, we make sure to have supportive resources on hand for coping with pet loss and moving forward. Look through our pet loss library for more helpful advice and visit our memorial wall.