Bereavement Support for Pet Owners
Is there bereavement support for pet owners?
Christina Bach, Oncology Social Worker at Penn Medicine, responds:
Bereavement support is available through many veterinary offices and hospitals as well as through private practice. Many large academic veterinary hospitals offer pet loss support groups. Here is a listing of pet loss support groups nationwide:
There are also pet loss groups that meet online. Here is just one example of a weekly group http://www.chancesspot.org/supportgroup.php
Pet loss is a form of disenfranchised grief; in that it is not socially accepted or understood. It is important to get support from a place that can understand the nuances of pet bereavement and offer specific support and interventions for coping with the loss.
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from When a Beloved Pet has Cancer.