Losing a pet is difficult. They are part of our families, and we share so many memories and experiences with them. In many cases, the loss of a pet has a serious impact on those who loved them.
Over 70 million households in the United States have at least one pet (AVMA.org), and many of those households have experienced the death of a pet. If you’ve found your way to this post because you have recently shared that experience, or you anticipate doing so in the future, I hope this information brings useful facts as well as some comfort along the way.
- Redrover.org includes many resources for those who have experienced pet loss, as well as organizations specific to individual states. Some of these resources offer free, online pet loss support groups, one of which is Pet Cloud.
- An article from the Humane Society of the United States offers some ways to cope with the loss of a pet for any age, as well as how surviving pets in your household might show grief or distress.
- Rainbowsbridge.com offers a wealth of resources for pet owners looking for comfort and support, including ways to memorialize your pet and tips for parents to help children cope.
- A post from the Cleveland Clinic includes information from a clinical health psychologist who discusses why a pet’s death is so painful and some ways one might find support.
After my dog passed recently, I created a booklist that might be helpful to others experiencing the same type of loss: When You’ve Lost a Pet.
Picture books can be a wonderful resource if you're looking for a gentle way to process the death of a pet with little ones. Reading about others' experiences can help your child understand the feelings they have, or help you understand your own.
Reading about grief is not just for children, however. Adults too can find solace and understanding in reading about coping with the death of a pet. I wish you the best in your journey.