5 Tips to Help Cope with the Loss of your Beloved Pet

  1. Allow yourself to fully experience your grief and know it is natural and normal. You may experience shock, denial, anger, depression, and eventually, acceptance.
  2. Find supportive people with whom to share your grief. Stay away from people who say, “It was just a dog.” or “Just get another one.” Seek out support groups.
  3. Take care of yourself during your time of grief physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This could include canceling engagements or calling off work.
  4. Consider some way to memorialize your animal companion’s death and remind you of your happy times together. This may include initiating a memorial service, creating a photo album, planting a flower, or having a memorial portrait painted.
  5. Remember there is no right or wrong way to grieve, or right or wrong time period. If you feel your grief interferes significantly with your daily living, consider getting professional help from a counselor.

More pet loss tips and resources: www.HealFromPetLoss.com

©2009 Karen Litzinger, author of Heal Your Heart: Coping with the Loss of a Pet, a CD of affirmations and inspiration with guidebook.


Free Bereavement Support for Pet Loss

The Good Grief Center for Bereavement Support (GGC), a nonprofit organization serving Western Pennsylvania and beyond, offers no-cost pet loss support services to anyone having a hard time coping with the death, or anticipated death, of an animal companion.   The Center’s focus is on bereavement – regardless of whether the loss is a family member, friend, coworker or pet.  Services include one-to-one compassionate listening, education, a lending library of pet loss-related materials, and referrals to community resources.  Pet owners can receive services in person at 2717 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh (Squirrel Hill), PA 15217, or over the phone by calling 412.224.4700 (toll free, 1.888.GRIEF-88).  For more information, including a list of Pittsburgh-based pet loss resources, visit http://www.goodgriefcenter.com/services/petsupport.php