The memory of your friend will always be with you. Pets have a deep and profound influence on our lives, and when they are gone, they leave a painful void.
Everyone deals with grief in slightly different ways, but most of us go through very similar stages of grief. We highly recommend seeking support from a professional when you are having an exceptionally difficult time dealing with the loss or impending loss of your pet. You may want to visit our Grief Resources page for additional options.
In the time leading up to your pet's death, you may suffer from Anticipatory Grief. If you know that the loss is imminent, it is common to experience an array of very real emotions. Sometimes these emotions are surprising, sometimes they may be confusing, but they are almost always painful and difficult. We recognize that this can be a particularly challenging and heartbreaking time.
It’s not unusual to feel some societal pressure to minimize the loss of a pet, but the reality is these wonderful companions were an integral part of our family, and because they are such an important part of our lives, they are deserving of our grief.
We also highly recommend Enid Traisman, MSW who is the founding director of the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital Pet Loss Program. She has assisted thousands of people, who are working through the loss of their pet. We have had many clients seek the support available through the Dove Lewis program and have found it to be invaluable.
We also have a Grief Support for Other Pets page which addresses concerns about the effects of pet loss on other pets in your household.