Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend, and what greater gift than the love of a cat? The bond between humans and their pets is unique, amazing, and rewarding to say the least. Our pets help us in so many ways and expect so little in return. As humans, we develop such profound emotional bonds to our pets: we live every day with joy together, we laugh often, play hard and love even harder. In every moment, we gain so much pleasure from our pet’s companionship. Unfortunately, the loss and grief we feel upon the illness or death of such a special family member is inevitable.
We know how difficult it is to deal with the loss of a pet. Listed below are some resources and suggestions to help you grieve your pet’s loss and honor their memory.
There are many resources available to help you through the loss of your companion. These links will connect you to articles, reading lists, support groups, and grief counselors available over the phone and online. Know that you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone!
Gifts, Keepsakes & More
Your pet may no longer be physically present, but they will always be with you in your heart and memories. Memorials such as framed photos, stepping stones, and custom jewelry can honor your pet by keeping them close to you and reminding you of all the happy times you shared.
Click to view a list of books for coping with pet loss, or books to help your children say goodbye.
This sweet book consists of ideas for rituals and ceremonies‚ spiritual guidance and readings for solace. Kowalski includes advice on how to take care of yourself after the death of a pet and the importance of honesty when talking with children about this event.
Saying Goodbye to the Pet You Love
Lorri A. Greene, Ph.D.
Written by a psychologist who is a leader in the field of pet bereavement‚ this practical but sympathetic guide validates the survivor’s often misunderstood feelings‚ explains the importance of the human ⁄ animal bond‚ and offers strategies for working through the grieving process. Topics include memorializing the pet‚ recognizing problematic thinking‚ finding support‚ dealing with guilt, and explaining the pet’s death to a child. The special needs of the guardians of working animals are addressed‚ as are self-help resources for the elderly.
Pet Loss: A Spiritual Guide
This book helps readers understand the many emotional reactions that may arise in the loss of a pet‚ assist children in coping with and recovering from their loss, and learn how different spiritual belief systems recognize and counsel pet loss. Practical topics include what happens at a pet cemetery burial‚ cremation or home burial; what legal arrangements are available; how to develop a ceremony to honor the pet; and how to cope with the trauma of a terminally ill or runaway pet.
Three Cats‚ Two Dogs: One Journey Through Multiple Pet Loss
The author talks about how he transformed his anguish over the loss of several pets into a commitment to abused and abandoned animals. This down–to–earth book offers solace and practical suggestions for coping with grief.
Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet
A wonderful, helpful book filled with information and guidance that treats a serious subject with sympathetic feelings. The author provides an excellent guide allowing us to understand that we are not alone with our grief. Written in a clear, friendly style, it takes a pet owner by the hand and walks them through the stages of bereavement, offering explanations and coping strategies at every step. The message is one of love, common sense, and practical information. The wealth of information given by pet owners makes the book come alive.
Grieving the Loss of Your Pet: How to Survive the Journey
This book deals compassionately with grieving the loss of your pet. It can happen under different circumstances such as trauma, illness, sale, disappearance, or even theft. The phases of grieving are discussed along with struggling with the possibility of euthanasia and helping friends, teens, and children grieve the loss of an animal. It talks about pets going to Heaven, and discusses remembering your pet and the emotions of choosing when to replace your beloved pet and bonding with your new pet after losing your old one.
Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven
The simple‚ colorful illustrations in these books appeal to young children by taking them on a journey to Dog Heaven or Cat Heaven‚ places of warmth and happiness. In Dog Heaven‚ there are “fields and fields and fields‚” and in Cat Heaven‚ there are thousands of toys and soft angel laps to cuddle up in. God is depicted as a kindly older man who benevolently watches over his charges.
Remembering Ruby: For Families Living Beyond the Loss of a Pet
The loss of a beloved pet can be devastating to a child. This is the true story about a boy‚ his dog‚ and the close relationship that develops between them. When Ruby becomes terminally ill‚ the boy and his family must cope with their feelings along the way, and learn to live beyond the loss. By finding ways to remember Ruby‚ they make it through‚ together.
Saying Goodbye to Lulu
A young girl and her lovable dog Lulu are the best of friends. They play games together‚ explore their neighborhood‚ and cuddle up to read bedtime stories each night. Lulu is the best dog a girl could ever hope for‚ but when she grows old and weak‚ the little girl must face the sad possibility of losing her dear friend‚ and inevitably‚ cope with the death of her canine companion. Over time the little girl discovers that the sweet memory of her beloved Lulu will live on forever in her heart.
Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children
Herbert A. Nieburg
The death of a pet can cause enormous feelings of sorrow, guilt, and loneliness for children and adults alike, yet pet owners are often inhibited in their very real grief. In Pet Loss, the authors assert that pet owners must learn to cope with the death of an animal as they would with any significant loss: by expressing their feelings and coming to terms with their grief. At once a practical guide and an emotional support, Pet Loss offers unique advice for owners faced with an animal’s passing.
Donate in Memory of Your Pet
We work closely with the Pet Peace of Mind program at Hospice of SLO County. Anytime a client of Animal Hospital of SLO loses a pet, our team honors your companion by making a donation to Pet Peace of Mind in their name.
This program aims to keep pets together with their people during hospice care. If you would like to support Pet Peace of Mind, you can volunteer or donate in the name of your pet.