Where to find support

Many veterinary practice members have been trained in pet loss, and may have further qualifications in counselling. Compassion Understood also provides training programmes for veterinary staff which can be found on the Why Compassion page on our veterinary side of the website

It can sometimes help to share your feelings with someone who knows from personal experience how distressing the loss of a pet can be, and who will listen with compassion and without judgement.

Pet Loss Support Helplines


ASPCA National Pet Loss Hotline - 877-GRIEF-10

Iams Pet Loss Support Hotline - 1-888-332-7738 - M-F 9am-5pm,

Pet Loss Support Helplines via Veterinary Schools & Organizations:
Chicago VMA
Colorado State University, Argus Institute
Cornell University
University of Illinois
217-244-CARE (2273) or 877-394-CARE (2273)
Michigan State University
University of Tennessee
Tufts University
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Washington State University
509-335-5704 or 866-266-8635

Pet Loss Forums

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, based in the US, along with The Ralph Site which is based in the UK, both run Pet Loss Forums where you can connect with other pet owners who are experiencing similar emotions to you. 

There are many special Pet Loss trained counsellors. You can find some of these on the Ralph site and also within the Counselling Directory. Note that we haven’t ‘vetted’ any of these, and we are not directly endorsing their services. It’s best to carry out further research and if possible speak to them and ask for references before you enter into any counselling agreement. 

Helping Children

How you break it to a child that their pet is dying or has died, or will be euthanased depends on the age and maturity of the child. A helpful reference is given on http://www.aplb.org/support/children_and_pet_loss.html

To help kids with their feelings about pet loss as well as provide activities to help them learn about their animal friends. Here, kids can find a Pet Loss Journal and several eBooks about pet loss and grief.

Support Groups