Pet bereavement/Pet Loss counselling
The grief over the death or loss of a pet can be as deep if not deeper than that over the loss of a human being for many pet owners. In today’s society pets are very much loved members of the family. Many people revolve their lives around their pets including hobbies such as dog showing, dog agility and equestrian sports.
Society is not always accepting of our personal grief and pet bereavement/ pet loss is one of those areas. Family and friends may find it hard to understand why someone should grieve so much for the loss of a pet however grieving over the loss of your much loved companion is perfectly normal!
Pet loss may also be the last in a long line of distressing experiences i.e. the death of a close family member or a past traumatic event.
Difficult decisions may have to be made such as euthanasia. A much loved pet which has gone missing or re-homed through no fault of the owner or the dog can bring its own emotional implications. Talking to a therapist can help to work through the different emotions you experience.
Grieving over the death or loss of a pet is normal
Grief over the loss of a pet is perfectly normal however as in grief over the loss of a human its impact is entirely individual. Some people may find it easier to go and buy another pet quite quickly where others decide to have no more pets as they cannot bear to go through the emotional pain suffered through the death of a much loved pet once again.
A recent study carried out by the charity Harrisons fund found that in fact humans have more empathy for animals than for their fellow human beings.
When counselling may be required
Grief is a natural process however we can get stuck at a certain point of the grieving process and this is where counselling may be of benefit.
During counselling I offer you the opportunity to be listened to in a safe and confidential space, where you can be heard in confidence with empathy and acceptance.
Below are some common reactions to the death or loss of a pet. The majority of these are also the same reactions experienced over the death of a much loved family member or friend.
Loss of appetite
Feeling silly in the eyes of others for grieving a pet