Pet Loss Resources: The Ultimate Guide [for 2020]


We’ve collected here the most comprehensive list of high-quality resources on pet loss, grief, and mourning available on the Internet today – updated quarterly.

Because, when someone is grieving, who has time to sort through Google's 135 million Pet Loss links for reliable answers and help? There's no need, we’ve spent months combing through them for you.

Look what great information and guidance is available on 14 pet loss topics:

Websites • Articles • Books • Support Groups • Vet School Hotlines

Workbooks • Audio • Pet Loss Poetry • Video • End of Life • Helping Others

Memorializing • Pet Charities • Animal Afterlife • Starting Over

These websites are top resources for pet loss information on a variety of topics. You’ll see links to their helpful articles throughout this resource guide, categorized for easy reference.

Rainbowsbridge.com – A valuable and venerable resource with moderated chat rooms for pet loss and anticipatory bereavement, and many other resources.

Association for Pet Loss & Bereavement – APLB.org is run by trained volunteer pet bereavement counselors. There is a wealth of useful information there on many pet loss related subject, as well as chat rooms.

The Pet Loss Support Page – Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed., manages this site with

articles on pet loss, euthanasia, and links to pet loss counselors and support groups.

An extensive state-by-state listing of support groups, counselors and crematoriums from Paws2heaven.com. Horse Loss Support – Support group as well as resources on euthanasia, bereavement and memorials for horse owners.

End of Life Care – Advice from the ASPCA.

The Feelings We Encounter when our Pet Dies - FAQ

University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine outlines what to expect in The Experience of Pet Loss.

The Humane Society of the United States – General information for coping with the loss of a pet.

Psychology Today: 7 Self-Care Essentials While Grieving the Death of a Pet.

Modern Dog magazine offers these tips for Coping with the Death of Your Pet.

The Grieving Process:

Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine outlines the path of grief

Excellent article from the Orlando Sentinel on coping with grief, loneliness, and other issues after losing a beloved pet.

Working Through GriefGrief is hard work. Here are thoughtful suggestions for coping as you move through your grief journey.

The holidays can be an especially difficult time following the loss of a beloved pet. Here's help from Rainbowsbridge.com.

The University of Florida Small Animal Hospital offers these suggestions on Coping Through Holidays and Special Event Days.

Noted pet loss authors, Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Robert Segal, M.A., write about Coping with Losing a Pet.

The Healing Process:

Mourning and grieving are different. Read why mourning is also an important part of healing from pet loss.

Kimberly Wilson outlines William Worden's Four Tasks of Mourning.

William Worden's Four Tasks of Mourning.

The Path Through Pet Loss 3: A Light In The Darkness.

UF College of Veterinary Medicine explains Coping with Guilt.

Morris Animal Foundation: 5 Tips to Begin Healing from Pet Loss

10 Ways to Heal After Losing a Pet - How do you recover from losing a pet? These 10 expert tips from Everyday Health will help you work through your loss.

A quick search on Amazon for books on “Pet Loss Grief” returns 5,000 titles. We’ve pared that river of words down to the most often recommended titles.

For adults:

Amazon’s 10 highest-rated books on pet loss for adults:*

Signs From Pets In The Afterlife: Identifying Messages From Pets In Heaven – Lyn Ragan

Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet – Gary Kowalski

The Pet Loss Companion: Healing Advice from Family Therapists Who Lead Pet Loss Groups – Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio and Nancy Saxton-Lopez

Losing My Best Friend: Thoughtful support for those affected by dog bereavement or pet loss – Jeannie Wycherley

I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye – Brook Noel and Pamela Blair PhD

Heart Dog: Surviving The Loss of Your Canine Soulmate – Roxanne Hawn

Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die – Jon Katz

My Pet Remembrance Journal – Enid Traisman

Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates: A Book of Hope for Those Who Have Lost a Pet – Gary Kurz

When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing – Alan D. Wolfelt PhD

* These are not affiliate links. We make no money from these titles. They are for your easy reference only.

Others highly recommended by pet loss and grief counselors:

Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet – Moira Anderson Allen

The Loss of a Pet – Wallace Sife

Healing A Child's Pet Loss Grief: A Guide for Parents – Wendy Van de Poll

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement offers a lengthy list of recommended titles.

GoodReads' 24 best books on pet loss and grief, as judged by readers.

Amazon’s 10 highest-rated books on pet loss for children:*

The Rainbow Bridge: A Visit to Pet Paradise – Adrian Raeside

The Invisible String – Patrice Karst and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

When a Pet Dies – Fred Rogers

My Pet Memory Book – S. Wallace and Pinfold Publishing

Dog Heaven – Cynthia Rylant

Fairy Dog Heaven: Support for Pet Loss – Patrese Fischer and Marcus Cutler

A Rainbow Bridge for Gus: A Story About The Loss of a Pet – Barbara Bareis Rigabar and Chris Sharp

I'll Always Love You – Hans Wilhelm

The Rainbow Bridge – Steve Bodofsky

Where Are You? A Child's Book of Loss – Laura Olivieri

* These are not affiliate links. We make no money from these titles. They are for your easy reference only.

Others recommended by experts in children's loss:

Saying Goodbye to Lulu –Corinne Demas and Ard Hoyt

The Heaven of Animals – Nancy Tillman

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney – Judy Viorst

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf – Leo Buscaglia

The Goodbye Book – Todd Parr

Cat Heaven – C. Rylant

My Pet Died: A Coloring Book for Grieving Children – Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

For Every Dog An Angel – Christine Davis

For Every Cat An Angel – Christine Davis

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement – Excellent chatrooms moderated by trained and caring volunteers; one for pet loss, another for anticipatory bereavement.

Grief Healing Discussion Groups – Thousands of members, many topics. A super resource.

Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Support Chat Room – Support forum and chatroom moderated daily from from 8-12 pm EST (daily) and from 12-3pm EST (Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sun)

Rainbow Bridge Pets With Cancer Chat Room

Everlife Memorials - an extensive nationwide listing of pet loss support groups.

Animal Medical Center – New York, New York – Meets Thursdays twice a month from 6:15 pm to 8:15 pm in the 5th Floor Conference Room at AMC. Free and open to the public.

Day by Day Support Circles in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia

DoveLewis – Portland, Oregon – One of the first programs of its kind in the United States and the only one serving the Pacific Northwest, with a 33-year history.

Hawaiian Humane Society – First Tuesday Every Month 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Michigan State University – People come from all over the state. Meetings are held the second and fourth Thursdays of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the Veterinary Medical Center. There is no charge for this service.

Chance's Spot – Grief and loss support online forum.

Nashville Veterinary Specialists – Meets the third Tuesday each month from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Veterinary Medical Association – 630-325-1600 – Pet Loss Helpline & Support Group.

Colorado State University Argus Institute Support Services – Free “Making Decisions Support Guide,” information on euthanasia, end of life care, and more.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Loss Support Hotline – 607-253-3932 – 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Eastern Time, Tuesdays and Thursdays

University of Illinois – 217-244-CARE (2273) or 877-394-CARE (2273) – Accepting calls from 1 to 6 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You may call at any time and leave a message, and your call will be returned as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours.

Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine – (225) 578-9547– Best Friend Gone Project: Offers assistance to those who have lost or anticipate the loss of their pet.

Counselors are on site for private counseling including in-office and telephone counseling to the University hospital patient’s families and also members of the community and beyond (by appointment).

University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine – Dedicated telephone hotline, 484-453-8210, available 24/7. Grief Support Group, Run by Day by Day, held the first Tuesday of every month. Weekly telephone check-in from Day By Day staff upon direct request from clients. Weekly online Support Chat held each Sunday at 7:00 pm.

University of Tennessee Vet Social Work Resources 865-755-8839. Individual, family or couple grief support sessions to clients as well as community members. They also have a pet loss support group. End of Life Values & Goals Worksheet, Financial Aide Resources for Animal Owners, and more.

Utah State University Pet Loss Hotline: Grief consultation, emotional support, and pet loss additional resources. Email or call 24 hours a day. Phones are regularly staffed during the Fall and Spring Semesters Monday – Thursday from 5 pm – 7 pm Mountain Time.

Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine – 508-839-7966. The Tufts Pet Loss Support Hotline seeks to serve the community-at-large by providing both a resource for people grieving the loss of a pet, and an opportunity for veterinary students to acquire the skills needed for pet loss and grief counseling.

Other Hotlines:

APLB List by state: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, as well as England.

ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline – (877) 474-3310

Workbook for adults:

A Peaceful Path: A Supportive Guide through Pet Loss – This 44-page workbook allows you to explore and understand why you feel this loss and help you do the work in the process of grieving.

Workbooks for children:

I Miss My Pet: A Workbook for Children About Pet Loss A free yet valuable workbook to aid children in processing loss and grief.

Free PDF Pet Grief Workbook for Children from Rufford Veterinary Group.

Remembering My Pet: A Kid's Own Spiritual Remembering Workbook for When a Pet Dies – Nechama Liss-Levinson , Molly Phinney Baskette , et al.

Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Pet – 8 Tips to help support grieving the loss of a pet, a 16 page workbook for kids and directions on how to use the materials included in the book, “Memory Box” directions and labels.

Talk Therapy with Tammy Fletcher, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist on Coping with Pet Loss.

Coping with the Loss of a Fur Baby: Pet Grieving Support Group – The Local Show, KCPT Television.

Children Dealing with the Loss of a Pet – Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and biomedicine.

The Doctors on Pet Loss.

TEDx Talk – Our Pets: Rethinking the Way We Say Goodbye with Jackie Campbell.

Live on Purpose TV: How to Deal with the Loss of a Pet.

TEDx Talk – Joan Ranquet– The Rainbow Bridge, Animals in Transition.

I'm Still Here – A moving classic of pet loss poetry set to music and visuals.

Spiritual author Eckhart Tolle answers: Can You Offer Pointers on Letting My Dog Go?

Pet Loss Quotes, Poems & More to Honor Your Furry Friend – More than 80 helpful and heartwarming memorial quotes, inscription and epitaph ideas, poems, Bible verses, and other pet loss quotes to help you honor and remember your special friend.

Top 10 Loss of Dog Poems – loveliveson.com – Whether you’re looking for a poem to use in a condolence message or sympathy card for a friend who is grieving the loss of a dog, or you’re looking for a poem to include on a memorial for your own dog that has passed away, there's something for you on this list.

24 Touching Pet Loss Poems to Find Comfort In – Short pet loss poems, long pet loss poems, poems for dogs, cats, horses and even bunnies. A very full selection.

97 Best Pet Loss Poem Images – A large Pinterest board with 97 graphics of various pet loss poems.

Heal Your Heart: Coping with the Loss of a Pet – This audio file, available as a CD or as an MP3, takes you on a healing journey with words of wisdom, comforting affirmations, an inspirational reading, a guided meditation, and soothing harp music. The accompanying 20 page guidebook provides insight, healing strategies and resources.

Get MP3 here

Get CD here

End of Life & Euthanasia.

Planning for the end of life.

Spirits In Transition – Excellent resources on pet hospice.

APLB excerpt on euthanasia from Dr. Wallace Sief's The Loss of a Pet

APLB on equine euthanasia.

WSU Veterinary School: When is it time to say goodbye?

Day by Day Pet Support: Is it time?

Making The Decision to Put a Pet Down.

Questions to ask yourself about your pet’s quality of life.

Measuring quality of life from Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Day by Day on quality of life.

Assessing your own quality of life.

Funerals, burials & cremation:

Dealing With The Death of a Pet - Even if your pet has been enduring a long illness, nobody is truly prepared for death. Here are three vets' best and most practical advice for what to do when your pet dies.

This comprehensive APLB list of pet cemeteries and cremation facilities includes those reported by their parent organizations, The International Association of Pet Cemeteries (IAPC) and the Accredited Pet Cemetery Society (APCS), all arranged in geographical order.

Helping adults experiencing grief:

Rainbowsbridge.com on providing grief support Ten ways in which you can support a friend who is mourning the death of a pet.

36 Ways to Offer Sympathy When a Friend's Pet Dies – Whether in a note, on the phone, or in person, here are the right and wrong things to say to a grieving friend.

Psychology Today on 6 Ways to Say "I Care" to Friends Who Are Facing Pet Loss – without inadvertently causing more pain or minimizing Their Loss.

Sympathy Etiquette for the Loss of a Pet - The Spruce.

Supporting children through loss:

Children and Pet Loss – A very helpful set of pages dedicated to supporting children through the loss of a beloved animal, with advice categorized by age group, and more.

Colorado State University on Helping Children Through Pet Illness and Death.

Helping Children Cope With Pet Loss.

Helping children through pet illness & death.

Psychology Today: Six Family Friendly Ways to Help Kids Grieve After Pet Loss.

5 Activities to Help Kids Cope with Pet LossOur Small Hours website offers a Mom's practical advice.

Animals grieve too:

Tips for Helping Your Surviving Pet Deal with a Loss.

Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Argus Institute - How animals grieve.

Washington State U. College of Veterinary Medicine – Supporting Pets Who Have Lost a Friend.

Rainbowsbridge.com - Do Pets Grieve?

Reactions of Other Pets in the Home – University of Florida

Memorializing your Beloved Fur, Feathered or Scaled Baby by Ginny Brancato - Founder of RainbowBridge.com.

9 Easy Ways to Remember and Memorialize a Lost Pet.

12 DIY Ways to Remember a Beloved Dog Who Has Passed.

Pet-Loss.net - Memorializing a Pet.

Memorializing Your Cat.

​Pet Cloning and Genetic Preservation.

Memorial Candle Ceremony:

The original Monday Candle Ceremony site.

Pet Loss Candle Ceremonies – Furever.Co.

The Path Through Pet Loss 4: Furever With Us.

There are many animal-related charities where you can pay your love for a missing pet forward. But not all charities do an equally good job of using your donation to better the lives of animals. Here are some that have been rated the best.*

CharityWatch List:

The charities on the top-rated list generally spend 75 percent or more of their budgets on programs, spend $25 or less to raise $100 in public support, do not hold excessive assets in reserve, have met CharityWatch's governance benchmarks, and receive 'open-book' status for disclosure of basic financial information and documents. Shown here with their grades.

Animal Welfare Institute - A+

American Bird Conservancy – A

Bat Conservation International – A-

Best Friends Animal Society – B+.

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International – A

Friends of Animals – A

Humane Farming Association – A-

Humane Society of the United States – A

Jane Goodall Institute – A-

Marine Mammal Center – A-

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation – B+

Performing Animal Welfare Society – A

PetSmart Charities – A+

Wildlife Conservation Society – A

Some other recommended animal charities:

Alley Cat Allies

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

Animal Legal Defense Fund

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue

Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

Farm Sanctuary

Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind

Humane Farming Association

In Defense of Animals

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Israeli Guide Dog Center for the Blind

10 Best Animal Charities of 2019 from Top Dog Tips.

* We do not endorse any particular charity but offer these recommendations by experts for your consideration.

Will we see our pets again? Scripture Verses Relating To Pet Loss.

All Pets Go To Heaven - Wallace Sife PhD.

Pets and the Afterlife from New York Daily News.

Signs You Are Healing – University of Florida.

When Getting a New Pet – Seven smart recommendations from Washington State University when you are considering adding a new pet to your family.

How Soon Should I Get a New Pet? Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed, outlines the pros and cons about taking on a new pet for you, your family, and any pets already living with you.

The Spruce-Pets answers: How Long After the Death of My Dog Should I Wait to Get Another Dog?

Moving On After Losing An Older Dog – Whole Dog Journal

Many thanks to the organizations, websites, and publications whose links are represented here, especially APLB.com, Rainbowsbridge.com, The Pet Loss Support Page, The Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine, and Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Argus Institute.

All of these contribute greatly to our understanding of pet loss grief, and their advice and support has helped thousands of people move through grief and loss to acceptance and remembrance.

We aim for this to be the most complete and reliable guide to Pet Loss Resources available on the web, updated quarterly for accuracy. If you know of any resources that should be added, removed, or updated, please tell us: Boyd@furever.co.

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