Pet Loss Support
Our pets are part of our family, and their loss is felt just as keenly as the loss of any family member. It is normal to feel significant grief leading up to and after the loss of a pet, and there are a number of resources listed below to help support you during this process. If you find yourself in crisis, please call the Alberta Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642 (Toll free).
Pet Loss Support Resources
The Ontario Veterinary College has an excellent website devoted to pet loss support with many resources, including pet loss guides for adults and children.
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement has an online chat room for anticipatory grief and pet loss bereavement and the Ontario Veterinary College has a pet loss support hotline.
- “The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies” by Wallace Sife
- “Goodbye Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet” by Gary Kowalski
- “And I Love You Still…A Thoughtful Guide and Remembrance Journal for Healing the Loss of a Pet” by Julianne Corbin
- “It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand” by Megan Devine and Mark Nepo
Chance’s Spot is an online community offering pet loss counseling online and by email, and has an online forum to connect with others about pet loss.
There are local pet loss counsellors available that can aid in your journey:
- Trio Psychology – Pet Loss Counselling
- Joanna Card Counselling – Pet Loss Support
- Strawberry Moon Counselling – Pet Loss Counselling
Alberta has a Mental Health Services Helpline that can connect you to multiple avenues of support including mental health professional referrals by calling 1-877-303-2642 (Toll free).
Distress Centre Calgary provides 24 hour crisis support at (403) 266-HELP (4357).
Grief and Children
The websites below offer resources for parents to educate themselves on how to discuss death and dying with their children, and what manifestations of grief you may expect to see depending on their age. A number of books which may be helpful are listed below as well.
- “Always Remember” by Cece Meng
- “The Invisible Leash” by Patricr Karst
- “Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler’s Guide to Understanding Death” by by Bonnie Tucker and Kim Fleming
- “I’ll Always Love You” by Hans Wilhem
- “When a Pet Dies” by Fred Rogers
- “When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss and Other Losses” by John W. James, Russel Friedman, et al.
- “Healing a Child’s Pet Loss Grief: A Guide for Parents” by Wendy Van de Poll