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woman and dog in car


The loss of a pet is the loss of a companion. Pets can provide friendship, companionship, love, connection, and other enrichment's to our life. Their death is not only a loss of companionship, but also a disruption to routines. In fact, their absence can make your home no longer feel like home. While our culture is getting better at acknowledging the death of pets, many people are not sure how to support someone who is grieving this loss. It can be helpful to find a friend who has recently experienced this loss so that you can talk openly about your feelings.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Do a ritual – do a memorial service or funeral with family members and anyone else who supports you, loved your creature, and won’t judge
  2. Look at photos and share stories – many significant moments you experienced with your pet were most likely caught on film, take time to go through those moments in order to enjoy and share those memories.
  3. Don’t get a replacement pet – it may seem like it will lessen the pain, but every creature is unique. Most will require training and work at a time when you’re still grieving. Give healing some time.

Learn More

Planning a Service for Your Pet
Visit the Remembering A Life Blog to read Jane Goodall's reflections on the deaths of animals we love: Digging Up the Roots.