Pet Loss Support and Grief Counseling

There comes a time when every pet owner must face the inevitable loss of their beloved friend. Whether by accident or terminal diagnosis, a pet owner often needs time to digest the news and make peace with the situation.

In the moments following a pet’s loss of life or euthanasia, the Belle Mead Animal Hospital team can offer support through the mourning process. Being pet owners ourselves, we understand and respect how clients feel when their beloved pet and family member is gone.

Through our empathy with our client, we can help them move toward reforming the relationship they shared with their pet into a memory that forever memorializes the life that was and help them recognize all that was lost, while building new hope for the future.

Normal Signs of Grief

It is normal to experience a multitude of emotions after the loss of a pet. Many experience sadness, crying, depression, anger, shock and confusion. You may experience fatigue, sleep disturbances and even dream about your pet. Some find it difficult to concentrate and may experience physical pain or illness. These are all normal responses and feelings that one must work through in order to reach acceptance.

Grief Counseling and Support Groups

It is often recommended to seek the help of grief counselors in order to move through the emotions in a more positive way after pet loss. Following is a resource list where a pet owner can find comfort and assistance.

New Jersey –

(800) 404-PETS – PetFriends hotline. Outside of NJ Dial (856) 234-4688. Phones answered 24 hours a day.  Petfriends Hotline

Tufts Pet Loss Support –

(508) 839-7966, www.tufts.edu/vet/petloss

Grief Recovery Hotline

– (800) 445-4808 – M-F 9am-5pm PT

Iams Pet Loss Support Hotline

– 1-888-332-7738 – M-F 9am-5pm,

Rainbow Bridge –

www.rainbowbridge.com

Friends of Nikki

is a support group for those preparing for or coping with pet loss. The group meets the third Sunday of every month in Somerset, New Jersey. Email friendsofnikki@comcast.net or call 732-246-2124 for further information on how you can participate.

Recommended Reading –

“Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet” by Gary Kowalski. New World Library, 2012. Softcover, 176 pages.

“When You Have to Say Goodbye: Loving and Letting Go of Your Pet”  This book was written for children between the ages of 5-8 years old. Author Monica Mansfield, DVM, presents a straight-forward and unique approach to help children understand the end-of-life process with their pet.  Learn more about the book on the author’s website.