The loss of a pet may create feelings of grief similar to those experienced with the loss of a human friend or family member.
The relationship with the pet is central to understanding the impact of the loss. Death, inability to provide continued care, or other causes may deprive one of the pet’s companionship and other relationship benefits. The loss of ability to nurture and the lack of a familiar presence can be felt profoundly by those who lose a pet.
The mourning tasks associated with losing a pet are also similar to those of losing a person, but are not always understood by friends and family of the bereaved. Counseling can aid in working through the process and healing.