Tips for Grieving the Loss of a Beloved Pet

Grief & Loss

Pets are so much more than just animals; they are family. Losing any member of a family can be devastating. It is natural to feel sorrow and express grief. Knowing that it is okay and even encouraged to mourn the death of your pet, let’s discuss some tips on how to cope with losing this relationship.

Express Your Grief

When losing a loved one, releasing the emotions that are building inside you is beneficial. Whether it’s shock, sadness, anger, denial, or guilt, it is important not to hold back your feelings. Grief is different for everyone. There is no “normal” way to mourn loss, so take it at your own speed and do not pressure yourself to feel or act a certain way. Trying to ignore the pain will only make it worse in the long run.

Reach Out to Others

Find others who have experienced pet loss and ask for support. People who have dealt with losing a pet will know what you’re going through and be able to provide you with advice. If friends and family do not seem sympathetic to how you’re feeling, research pet loss hotlines or support groups and surround yourself with those who understand. Do not isolate or be alone, especially when navigating through negative emotions.

Provide Rituals

A funeral or a celebration of life ceremony can help you and your family openly express grief. These rituals may provide a sense of closure and help with acceptance and moving forward. Ignore those who find it inappropriate to hold funerals for pets. You do what feels right and natural for you.

Leave a Legacy

Prepare something to remember your pet by. Plant a tree, place a grave, create a scrapbook, or set up a memorial site with all their items. This will give you a safe space to mourn, grieve, and revisit memories shared with your pet. You are ensuring that your pet’s life is not forgotten, and allowing yourself to remember the fun and love you had can help you eventually move on.

Take Care of Yourself

Losing a beloved pet can be stressful, so it may be easy to neglect your own personal needs. Experiencing pain can be debilitating, but continue to care for yourself by getting fresh air out of the house, eating meals, showering, and engaging in social activities. Self-care will release endorphins to help boost your mood.

Maintain a Routine

Surviving pets can also experience grief and loss. Pets form bonds with one another and may experience emotional turmoil when these bonds are severed. As their owner, you must maintain as much of a normal routine as possible. Neglecting your other pets while grieving will cause them to feel confused and lonely. They do not understand loss as humans do, so they may feel they did something wrong or that their owner is upset with them. Showing your other pets continued love and affection will not only increase your mood, but it will help them adjust to loss as well.

Get Another Pet

It may be tempting to rush out and get another pet to fill the void left by the loss, but make sure to think logically before making this decision. While getting more pets to add to the family is wonderful, you want to take your time with it. Make sure you have allowed enough time for you and your family to mourn. Getting another pet too early may have the opposite effect, and you may find yourself comparing the new pet to the old one.

Seek Professional Help

Dealing with grief is challenging for everyone, and there is no shame in reaching out for help. Call a grief counselor in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and in Arizona online/virtual therapy for support and healing.  Schedule a session today if you find yourself struggling to manage your grief.

Begin Grief and Loss Counseling in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Online in Arizona

If you would like to learn how grief counseling can help you season please reach out. Our team of therapists would be honored to support you.  We are happy to offer services from our Phoenix, AZ-based practice and across the state with online counseling. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:

  1. Contact Crossroads Counseling
  2. Meet with a grief and loss therapist
  3. Start finding the happiness you deserve

Start Grief Therapy with Crossroads Counseling

Our offices are located throughout the valley with counseling centers located in Phoenix, Anthem, and Scottsdale. Call us at 623-680-3486,text 623-688-5115, or email We offer a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation to answer your questions and better understand how we can help you.