Losing a pet, no matter big or small, can be an extremely emotional event in your life, with profound feelings of loss and grief. And the UK is a nation of pet lovers, with an estimated 40% of our 12-million households home to a pet of some kind.
As with any loss, you will go through a range of emotions, and may feel that you need to turn to someone for guidance, advice or simply someone to listen to you. You may also have children who are struggling to understand or cope with the loss of their pet and may need advice on how to help them process their emotions.
Fortunately, there are some excellent options for help and support, including the following:
Animal Samaritans Pet Bereavement Service
Telephone: 0203 745 9859
The Animal Samaritans offer various services for the protection of animals, and have a Pet Bereavement help line offering free advice, help and support anyone dealing with the loss of a pet.
Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service
Website: Blue Cross
The Blue Cross has a team of volunteers who have had training from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and offer support and guidance via their helpline, live chat, online form as well as via email. They also have a Facebook community for ongoing support.
Telephone:0800 024 94 94
Cats Protection offer a listening support service to help cat owners with the loss of their pets, with their free lines open between 9am-5pm on weekdays.
Website: Compassion Understood
Specialists in bereavement support, Compassion Understood offer a range of online resources, advice, guidance and links to various support groups.
EASE (Environmental Animal Sanctuary and Education)
Website: Ease Animals
EASE offers a range of advice on their website, with several free resources including podcasts covering multiple areas of grief, such as how to prepare for pet loss and pet grief for children.
Grief Support Centre at Rainbows Bridge
Website: Rainbow Bridge
There are excellent resources for helping children cope with the loss of pet, including a downloadable workbook and helpful tips based on the child’s age.
Website: Help Guide
HelpGuide offers very good online advice on how to process grief, with a special focus on elderly pet owners who experience a loss, as well as children grieving the loss of their pet.
The PDSA has a range of online support resources, most notably a free downloadable leaflet and a list of useful books to help adults and children cope with the loss of a pet.
The Ralph Site
Website: The Ralph Site
The Ralph Site offers a range of online support resources, and guidance around the stages of grief and how to understand and process them.