Pet Loss & Grieving

If you are visiting this webpage chances are you or someone you care about has either lost or is preparing to lose a very dear and special companion. Animal companions are true gifts to those who open their hearts and welcome them in. To feel the unconditional love and admiration that animals are so capable of giving is an honor and a privilege. If you have loved and have been loved by an animal, you have been part of a very special and unique relationship that goes beyond explanation.

All of us at Far Hills Animal Clinic respect and support the human-animal bond. We hope that after reading the material from the websites below you will understand that it is natural to grieve the loss of a beloved animal friend and that you are not alone in your grief.

For many owners, the death of a pet is more emotional than anticipated. Some people have a difficult time understanding all of the feelings that surface during this difficult time. Some have apprehension or guilt associated with deciding to euthanize a suffering pet. Others have questions about how their lives will be different without their companion, or about the best way to memorialize a deceased pet. We understand that to lose a pet is to say goodbye to a beloved friend and family member, and that all of these experiences are a natural part of the grieving process. We’re here to offer support and counsel as you grieve, to answer questions, and to provide assistance as you come to terms with your loss.

Please contact our clinic to learn more about the pet loss support we offer. You can also browse through our list of Pet Loss Support Resources below.

What to do if your pet passes at home

If your pet passes at home, we can help. We work closely with Pines Pet Cemetery and Cremation Services, who offer many different after-care choices. Simply call Pines Pet Cemetery to set up after-care, then call the clinic to let us know when to expect you. We will gladly hold your loved one here at the clinic for pick up at a later time. If you prefer to work with a different company, we will do the same as well.

National Pet Loss Support Hotlines

Chicago Veterinary Medical Association – Pet Loss Hotline

Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine – Pet Loss Support Hotline

Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine – Pet Loss Support Hotline

SPCA of Texas – Pet Grief Counseling

Tufts University Pet Loss Support Hotline, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine – Pet Loss Hotline

ASPCA – Pet Loss Support Program Hotline

National Cancer Support Group for Animals

The NCSGA is a group that provides support for those individuals who have or are going to lose a pet. Although their focus is on those dealing with cancer they are available to all those who are facing the loss of a pet.

Virginia Regional College of Veterinary Medicine – Pet Loss Support Hotline
Available Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6 – 9 p.m.

The Argus Institute
Sponsored by the Colorado State Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Providing information, counseling, and resources to owners facing pet health and loss issues.

An additional, important resource: National Crisis and Suicide Hotline

Website Resources for Pet Loss Support

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement is a nonprofit association of concerned volunteers who are experienced and knowledgeable in the tender subject of pet death. The organization offer free chat rooms with trained pet loss counselors as well as many online resources to help aid in the grieving process.

The Rainbow Bridge Support Center offers free online instant messaging or free phone discussion with a trained counselor. They also provide links to online resources and an online space for posting a memorial to your pet, allowing you to share the memories of your pet with members of the online pet loss community.

Ten Ways to Help Children with Pet Loss by Laurel Lagoni M.S. is a very nice article about preparing children for an impending pet loss.

Losing A Best Friend is a collection of articles for the bereaved pet owner who is anticipating or is currently coping with the death of a pet. This .pdf document was compiled by the San Francisco SPCA.

The Pet Loss support website provides an open forum for grieving pet owners to discuss their loss. The website also provides additional online resources and links to help those experiencing the difficult situation of pet loss.

The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine maintains a Veterinary Social Work program designed to train the next generation of counselors in grief support for pet owners. The school maintains a website for those who are facing difficult decisions regarding the health of their pets or are grieving the loss of an animal companion.

Books on Pet Loss and Grieving

For Adults:

  • Grieving the Death of a Pet, by Dr. Betty Carmack
  • The Loss of a Pet, by Wallace Sife
  • Coping With Sorrow On The Loss of Your Pet, by Moira Anderson
  • Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children, by Herbert Nieburg and Arlene Fischer
  • When Your Pet Dies: How To Cope With Your Feelings, by James Quackenbush and Denise Graveline

For Children:

  • Children and Pet Loss: A Guide for Helping, by Marty Tousley
  • Remembering Ruby: For Families Living Beyond the Loss of a Pet, by Melissa Wells

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