9 Tel Animal Hospital
Bereavement support Pet euthanizing Dealing with grief Loss of a pet


Dealing with the loss of a pet is heartbreaking. Many people look at their pet as a member of the family and when you lose a member of the family, it hurts. Our pets are loyal to us as owners and when their time has come, you want to handle it the best way possible, especially if you have small children.

  • Terminal illness

  • Old age or senility

  • Fatal accident or unexpected occurrence

  • Behavioral problems

  • Long-term or chronic illness entailing heavy burdens in terms of care or finances

Reasons why you would face a loss of your pet

As a pet owner, you are responsible for the health and welfare of your pet. There may be reasons that put you in the position to decide on euthanizing your pet. When this time comes, you have to make a decision that is best for the quality of your pet’s life and not your personal feeling. In the event that you have to euthanize your pet, it could be the hardest decision, which is why we say bereavement begins before the death of your pet. Your vet can advise you on whether you should euthanize your pet.

Pet bereavement

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Dealing with grief

Bereavement support

Bereavement begins before the loss of your pet

Assessing your pet’s quality of life

  • Pain or serious discomfort when walking or moving

  • Drastic loss in appetite

  • Vomiting or diarrhea following eating or drinking

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Incontinence or other serious problems with urination or defecation

  • Capacity to see and hear properly

  • Unresponsive, unmanageable or dangerous behavior

Grieving adults

Losing your pet is like losing a close friend or family member, it’s very painful. Dealing with this type of lost can exert some feelings of anger, denial, guilt or depression. These feelings are normal when grieving. Everyone grieves in his or her own way but acknowledging your feelings is part of the grieving process.

Explaining the loss to children

  • Provide your child with honest, simple answers that are age appropriate

  • Avoid euphemisms because they will only confuse your children

  • Encourage your child to speak freely about their pet’s death

  • Make sure your child knows that no one is to blame for the death of your pet

The healing process

Although we this phrase is cliché’ it’s true, “time does heal." You will never “get over” the loss of your pet, but you will learn how to live with the loss of your pet over time. Getting over sorrow, guilt and pain will vary across each person. Having a support system is healthy and beneficial to the healing process. You can find support within family, message boards, hotlines, chat rooms, and support groups. Over time, your pain will lessen and you and your family will be able to cherish the memories made with your pet.

cta Bereavement