Who Can I Talk to About My Pet Grief?
When we lose a human family member, there are many places to turn for support. Friends and family gather to offer words of comfort and support; grief counselors can help us work through the stages of grief and talk to us about our conflicting feelings. Grief is acceptable and natural; it's seen as a necessary part of loss. But it's not always easy to find that same level of compassionate support in a world where many people see our pet as “just a dog” or “only a cat.” Even well-intentioned friends and family may not understand the bond between you and the animal in your life; they may tell you to “get over it” and encourage you to move on before you're ready.
Finding a Support Network
After the loss of a pet, it's not uncommon to grieve as though you've lost a human member of your family. Although not everyone understands the emptiness and sadness that can follow the loss of an animal companion, there are many resources available to help grieving pet owners cope with the loss of a beloved pet.
- Pet loss counselors - Sometimes, it helps to just talk about the loss of your pet with someone who understands. Pet loss counselors offer caring, sympathetic support to people who have lost their pets. Many pet loss counselors offer one-on-one counseling sessions by phone or in person, and they understand how painful it can be to lose a pet.
Search for a pet loss counselor in your area
- Pet loss support groups - A support group offers grieving pet owners the opportunity to meet and connect with other people who have recently lost a pet. Pet loss support groups usually hold regularly scheduled meetings, in person or online, and many are facilitated by a veterinarian or trained counselor.
Search for a pet loss support group in your area
The pain of losing a pet won't go away instantly; it's important to give yourself time to grieve and accept your loss. But, with a little support - in person or online - you may find that it's easier to cope.
- Pet loss message boards, forums, and chat rooms - Many pet owners turn to online support after the loss of a pet. Like a support group, message boards and chat rooms are a way to express your feelings of grief in a supportive environment. Users can create a profile and chat with other grieving pet owners across the country. Some chat rooms are even hosted by veterinarians or pet loss counselors. Additionally, many online pet loss forums feature pet memorial pages where grieving owners can post tributes to their lost pets in the form of pictures, poems, or obituaries.
Search for a pet loss message board, forum, or chat room
Support of a Person who has Experienced the Loss of a Pet