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Coping with the Loss of a Pet
Journey of Hearts
A Healing Place in CyberSpaceTM
Many times pets are as close or even closer to people than their friends or families. Sometimes they take the place of children or spouses, so the death of the pet may be equal to the death of a friend or family member, and evoke similar intense emotions. This fact is just starting to be recognized by researchers into grief and loss issues.
My favorite "friend" died unexpectedly during Medical School. His death was more difficult for me to deal with than some of my patients at the time, because I never go the chance to say goodbye.


Ten Tips on Coping with the Loss of a Pet
by Moira Anderson, M.Ed.
Edited by Kirsti A. Dyer MD, MS

(The following is an abbreviated, re-edited into the format used within Journey of Hearts of the Ten Tips by Moira Anderson. For the full version and other information on pet loss, please link to her website)

The following are some tips on coping with the loss of a pet.

   1. Am I crazy to hurt so much?

   2. What Can I Expect to Feel?    3. What can I do about my feelings?    4. Whom can I talk to?    5. When is the right time to euthanize a pet?    6. Should I stay during euthanasia?

[This is a very individualized decision, often requiring an honest appraisal of yourself, your motivations and your possible reactions]

   7. What do I do next?    8. What should I tell my children?    9. Will my other pets grieve?   10. Should I get a new pet right away? When you are ready, select an animal with whom you can build another long, loving relationship- because this is what having a pet is all about!
For a Complete Version of this Article

You can find a complete version of this article on Moira K. Anderson's Website:

For Her Book to Help Cope with Sorrow
Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira K. Anderson. Published by Alpine Publisher, February 1998.

Last updated April 2, 1998
 The article Ten Tips on Coping with the Loss of your Pet, by Moira K. Anderson, appears with permission of the author.
All material, unless otherwise specified, is copyrighted 1997-8 by Journey of Hearts A Healing Place in CyberSpace. We invite you to share the information on this site with others who may benefit, but ask that you share from the heart only and not for profit.