Pet Loss and Pet Related Grief
On this page...coping with the
death of a pet, where to get help, books to help (including a
recommended book for children). Also
unresolved loss - coping with the loss
of a missing pet that did not
Pet loss and pet grief
If you are feeling overwhelmed by
the grief of the loss, or anticipated loss of a
pet, here are some resources to
As with when our human family or friends die, grief over a pet can
hit us hard. We can grieve very deeply when a beloved pet dies, or is
dying, or is possibly "lost" and never found (an
unresolved loss). As they say, "the more you love, the more you
It's quite normal to grieve for a pet. It is a loss. The loss will
be more keenly felt the stronger the relationship you had with your pet.
Pets may literally be our substitute children ("fur children")
especially if you have no human children. They may be our very close
companions if we live alone. And they may be best friends to our
children. So pets are a important part of our family.
There can be impacts across the family in different ways as we as
adults/parents deal with it as well as the children in the family. The
death of a family pet is often the first real grief loss children will
experience in their life.
It can also be difficult dealing with terminal illness and possible
euthanasia of your beloved pet.
Sometimes insensitive people will not understand why you are so
upset over "just a pet". It's important to know that your grief and pain
is normal and thousands of people in NZ every year experience this too
when their much loved pet "crosses the
People often take time off work as they are so upset. Sometimes they can
feel depressed, anxious or angry. So it's important to acknowledge your
pain, loss and grief and "go through it/with it" as much as you can,
rather than try to "keep going", "put on a brave face" and avoid
thinking about it...This can lead to further problems down the track...
Talking with someone may help. A grief counsellor, especially a pet
grief counsellor, can help you work your way through the grief journey.
There are also several
books on the subject
that may help..The poem "Gone But Not
Forgotten" may also help.
People and services who can help...
For more information see our Pet Services Directory for
Pet Grief Counselling
Pet Rites and Pet
Memorials, Burial and
Online pet grief Support
NZ's e-memorial garden for pets,
and prayers for the
Books about pet related
New Zealand Pet
Grief Support book, by NZ pet loss and grief specialist, Kathy Landsman
- highly recommended booklet, reasonably priced, yet packed with
helpful NZ information including
> Anticipation of loss
> Final arrangements
> The grief process
> Denial, shock, anger and acceptance
> Helping a child
> Cherishing your memories
> Getting another pet etc
beautiful and uplifting book to help children grieving the loss of a pet
(we own this book and highly recommned it...).
Cleo: How an Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family
NZ best seller, highly recommended by petsonthenet. Novel based on a
true story, a real emotional roller coaster, but so uplifting, beautifully written
and "real". (Another book we have not only read, but own...so
we can recommend this one)
How to Roar: Pet Loss Grief Recovery
A workbook to guide you on your journey.
Animals and the Afterlife: True Stories of Our Best Friends' Journey Beyond Death
Saying Goodbye to Your Angel Animals: Finding Comfort After Losing Your Pet
When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing