"We grieve over the death of a pet. This reaction is only natural. Our feelings toward pets are so special that experts have a term for the relationship: the human-companion animal bond. When this bond is severed, the sense of loss can be overwhelming.
Society does not offer a grieving pet owner a great deal of sympathy. Even a close friend may comment: "It is only a dog (cat). You can always get another." Such a reaction would be heartless given the loss of a human friend or family member. It is generally recognized that a person who has experienced such a loss needs the support of friends and relatives. Psychologists now acknowledge that we need as much support, but get far less, with the loss of a companion animal.
When a person dies, family, friends and relatives pay their respects at the family home or funeral parlor. There is a funeral where sorrow and tears are accepted, even expected. Afterward, during a mourning period, friends and relatives assist and comfort grieving family members until their grief subsides and new routines develop.
When a pet dies, there is no such social ritual to formalize the grief. To many, a funeral for the family pet would seem eccentric and a formal period of mourning bizarre. Even the immediate family and intimate friends may not fully understand the loss."
Reproduced from sections of "Death of the Family Pet...Losing a Family Friend" by ALPO Pet Center
We at Greater South River Animal Hospital understand the anguish that can occur after the loss of a pet. And we have prepared this selection of support resources to help you through this most difficult time.
Tufts University Pet Loss Support Hotline
Helping people work through their grief and get through a difficult time.
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
A non-profit organization dedicated to helping people suffering from the bereavement of a pet.
Pet Memorial Services
Cremation, Urns, and Memorials
Custom Paw Heart Pendant
4 Paws Forever Sympathy gifts, all purchases help those animals less fortunate. 4 Paws Forever has deep roots in giving back.