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.
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:
Excellent article from the Orlando Sentinel on coping with grief, loneliness, and other issues after losing a beloved pet.
Working Through Grief– Grief 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.
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.
Amazon’s 10 highest-rated books on pet loss for adults:*
The Pet Loss Companion: Healing Advice from Family Therapists Who Lead Pet Loss Groups – Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio and Nancy Saxton-Lopez
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
Children Dealing with the Loss of a Pet – Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and biomedicine.
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.
Spirits In Transition – Excellent resources on pet hospice.
WSU Veterinary School: When is it time to say goodbye?
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:
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.
Psychology Today: Six Family Friendly Ways to Help Kids Grieve After Pet Loss.
5 Activities to Help Kids Cope with Pet Loss – Our Small Hours website offers a Mom's practical advice.
Animals grieve too:
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.
Pet-Loss.net - Memorializing a Pet.
Memorial Candle Ceremony:
Pet Loss Candle Ceremonies – Furever.Co.
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.*
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.
Some other recommended animal charities:
* We do not endorse any particular charity but offer these recommendations by experts for your consideration.
Signs You Are Healing – University of Florida.
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.