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 Pet Loss and Pet Related Grief  

On this page...coping with the death of a pet, where to get help, books to help (including a recommended book for children). Also unresolved loss - coping with the loss of a missing pet that did not come home

Pet loss and pet grief
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the grief of the loss, or anticipated loss of a pet, here are some resources to help you...

As with when our human family or friends die, grief over a pet can hit us hard. We can grieve very deeply when a beloved pet dies, or is dying, or is possibly "lost" and never found (an unresolved loss). As they say, "the more you love, the more you grieve..."

It's quite normal to grieve for a pet. It is a loss. The loss will be more keenly felt the stronger the relationship you had with your pet. Pets may literally be our substitute children ("fur children") especially if you have no human children. They may be our very close companions if we live alone. And they may be best friends to our children. So pets are a important part of our family.

There can be impacts across the family in different ways as we as adults/parents deal with it as well as the children in the family. The death of a family pet is often the first real grief loss children will experience in their life.

It can also be difficult dealing with terminal illness and possible euthanasia of your beloved pet.

Sometimes insensitive people will not understand why you are so upset over "just a pet". It's important to know that your grief and pain is normal and thousands of people in NZ every year experience this too when their much loved pet "crosses the Rainbow Bridge". People often take time off work as they are so upset. Sometimes they can feel depressed, anxious or angry. So it's important to acknowledge your pain, loss and grief and "go through it/with it" as much as you can, rather than try to "keep going", "put on a brave face" and avoid thinking about it...This can lead to further problems down the track...

Talking with someone may help. A grief counsellor can help you work your way through the grief journey. There are also several books on the subject that may help..The poem "Gone But Not Forgotten" may also help.

People and services who can help...
For more information see our Pet Services Directory for
Pet Grief Counselling
Pet Rites and Pet Funerals
Memorials, Burial and Cremation.

Saying Goodbye to Your Angel Animals: Finding Comfort After Losing Your Pet
Saying Goodbye to Your Angel Animals: Finding Comfort After Losing Your Pet

When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing
When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing


Five top tips for choosing and caring for a new kitten5 top tips to help choose and care for your new kitten

10 symptoms of FLUTD (Feline Lower Uterinary Tract Disease)10 warning signs
in your cat
you shouldn't



Coping with
pet loss



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Petsonthenet - NZ's nationwide database for lost and found pets, and pets for adoption. Reuniting and rehoming pets since 2002