Resources for Those Grieving the Loss of a Pet

Pets are part of the family and the death of a pet is a distressing event. Through utilizing support systems, pet owners can find ways to help ease the anguish of losing man’s best friend.

Losing a pet can be a devastating loss for a pet owner. The feelings of grief and bereavement surrounded by losing a precious member of the family can be overwhelming. There is no quick fix because grieving is a process, but there are many services available to those who are grieving the death of a beloved pet. Meetings, books, and phone call centers are available to help you get through this difficult time.

Selected Reading
By relating to another’s pet loss experience, many owners are able to identify with coping with pet loss and learn ways to cope. Articles and books on grieving over the death of animals provide long-lasting comfort.

By Enid Traisman, MSW

Grief Support Center

Cold Noses At The Pearly Gates: A Book of Hope for Those Who Have Lost Pets by Gary Kurz

When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing by Alan D. Wolfelt, PH. D.

Grieving the Death of a Pet by Betty J. Carmack.

The Loss of a Pet: A New Revised Edition
by Wallace Sife

Coping With Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira K. Anderson

The Rainbow Bridge: Pet Loss Is Heaven's Gain by Niki Behrikis Shanahan

Saying Goodbye to Your Angel Animals: Finding Comfort after Losing Your Pet by Allen Anderson, Linda Anderson

Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira Anderson Allen

Animals in Spirit: Our Faithful Companions' Transition to the Afterlife by Penelope Smith

Celebrating the Memory of a Pet by Devon O'Day and Kim Mclean

Good-Bye My Friend: Grieving the Loss of a Pet by Mary and Herb Montgomery

Pet Loss & Human Bereavement by Kay and Herbert Nieburg

Pet Loss and Children: Establishing a Health Foundation by Cheri Barton Ross

Call Centers
For people who would rather reach out to another person and talk about their feelings, call centers are staffed by several veterinary medical schools around the country and provide immediate support and advice.

217-244-2273 (CARE) or 877-394-2273 (CARE) 


Counseling and Support Groups
Sometimes being in a group of people who are experiencing similar circumstances helps grieving pet owners through the mourning process. There are several support groups located nationwide offering weekly meetings.
Bide-A-Wee Foundation

5 Signs of Wellness in Dogs

Our pets can’t talk to us, so how do we know when they’re feeling their best? This is often a topic pet parents grapple with, and like people, our pets’ wellbeing is directly impacted by what they eat. Many pet parents know to look for diets filled with natural, quality proteins, fruits and vegetables, but we’re also starting to see a stronger interest in grain-free recipes. So why grain-free?

 Dr. Danielle Bernal discusses how grain free food can impact your dog's health!

Better Ingredients: Wellness Grain-Free recipes have higher protein and healthy carbohydrates, which include chickpeas, lentils, peas and potatoes – all great sources and moderate GIs for sustained energy as well as providing valuable vitamins and minerals in a natural format. No grains means there are more protein-rich ingredients pets love and need for an active lifestyle, enriched with whole fruits, vegetables and botanicals to create a satisfying and easily-digested meal that supports health from head to tail.

Food Sensitivities: The most common reason vets recommend grain-free diets for certain cats and dogs is because like us, our furry companions can experience “food intolerance” and “food allergy.” Food intolerance refers to a gastrointestinal response triggered by certain ingredients. For instance, a dog with a sensitive stomach may not be able to tolerate certain ingredients (like grains) that then lead to diarrhea, vomiting or irritable bowel. A food allergy refers to an immune response to a particular ingredient in food that can cause itching, scratching, hot spots, hair loss, ear and eye secretions, or excessive licking.

Going Grain-Free: Grains are often the culprit. At Wellness, we’ve developed additional grain-free recipes so pet parents have more natural options to choose from when looking to feed grain-free for their pets with food sensitivities. New Wellness® Complete Health™ Grain-Free recipes give dogs thoughtfully balanced nutrition, without grains, in three delicious recipes, helping support pets’ wellbeing from the inside out. No grains means there are more protein-rich ingredients dogs love and need for an active lifestyle, enriched with whole fruits, vegetables and botanicals to create a satisfying and easily-digested meal that supports health from head to tail. Grain-free recipes in particular are packed with more protein and help keep pets fuller longer resulting in less food being eaten and more energy.

So what if your pet doesn’t have an allergy but you want to make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need to feel well? Look for the 5 Signs of Wellness – five visible indicators of pet health and wellbeing so you know your pet is feeling their best between visits to the vet:  

Eyes, Teeth & Gums: Calcium and Phosphorous support healthy teeth and gums
Digestive Health: Prebiotics, probiotics, and healthy fiber support healthy digestion
Immunity: Guaranteed levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin E support a healthy immune system
Energy: More protein for full energy
Skin & Coat Health: Omega 3 & 6 promote skin & coat health

To support the 5 Signs of Wellness, all Complete Health dry dog recipes have been improved to include more guaranteed protein for energy, vitamin A for tooth and gum health, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat. Learn more about the Five Signs of Wellness on new Complete Health packaging or by visiting

About Dr. Danielle, Veterinarian with Wellness® Natural Pet Food
Dr. Bernal has over a decade of experience in veterinary medicine, specializing in animal nutrition. In her role as on-staff veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food, a family-owned company and the largest independent natural pet food company, she educates pet parents and retailers alike on the importance of natural ingredients like wholesome meats and nutrient-rich superfoods and the highest quality standards. She passionately believes that proper nutrition helps pets lead happier, healthier lives and shares that message with pet parents across the globe. Dr. Bernal has been featured in radio, TV, and print stories in numerous countries.