The Pet Loss Resource Guide

A recent study found that nearly 40% of dog owners allow their dogs to sleep with them in their beds. Most pet owners consider their pets part of the family. When a pet dies, the feelings of loss are similar to the grief experienced when a human relative passes away. Grief, sorrow, and even guilt may be experienced by those who have lost a well-loved pet. When a pet dies, people are expected to continue on as if nothing happened. They will probably be expected at work or school the next day in spite of their loss. Dealing with the grief from losing a pet in a healthy way is essential.

Refer to the following websites for additional information about dealing with the loss of a pet:

Books About Pet Loss

  • Goodbye Friend: Written by a Unitarian Universalist minister, this book follows the grieving process and offers suggestions about ways to celebrate a pet’s life.
  • Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates: Assistance with dealing with pet loss and a discussion of an afterlife for pets.
  • Three Cats, Two Dogs: The personal experience of a couple who lost their beloved pets in a house fire. The book describes their grief and pain and how they turned the loss into a positive action.
  • Books About Pet Loss: A list of books available to help children and adults when dealing with pet loss.
  • Losing a Best Friend: An online book for those anticipating losing a pet or who have already lost one. Describes what to expect during the grieving process. Includes personal experiences.
  • Pet Loss: A list of pet loss books along with a brief synopsis of each.
  • Pet Loss and Bereavement: A list of pet loss books from the Delta Society.
  • Pet Loss Bibliography: A long list of books about various aspects of pet loss.
  • Pet Loss and Support Resources: Online booklets about personal pet loss, euthanasia, and helping others with grief.
  • When Only the Love Remains: A book of poems by Emily Margaret Stuparyk written as she deals with the loss of her pet rabbit. A synopsis and reviews are included.

Pet Loss Support

Urns and Memorial Markers

Honoring a Pet by Making Memorial Donations

  • Pet Memorial Program: This program provides a way to memorialize a pet through a donation that assists pet owners and veterinarians in a number of ways to improve the lives of pets.
  • Companion Animal Association of Arizona: Donations may be made in memory of a pet to assist the organization’s grief counseling program.
  • Best Friends Animal Society: Donate to the largest pet rescue organization in the United States in memory of a lost pet.
  • The Humane Society: The Humane Society accepts donations in memory of lost pets as well as human loved ones.
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): Memorial gifts may be made to the ASPCA to help fund their many animal welfare services.
  • Friends of Animals: Memorial donations can be made to assist Friends of Animals to improve the lives of animals throughout the United States.
  • American Veterinary Medical Foundation: Donations can be made in the name of a lost pet or human to assist continued research into the medical issues of companion animals.
  • Pets in Need: Help animals in need by making a donation in memory of a pet.
  • Animal Friends: Memorial and tribute donations may be made to Animal Friends.
  • PAWS: Memorial and tribute donations help the largest no-kill shelter in Chicago, IL continue its work.
  • Animal Rescue Federation: Tribute donations made to the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Federation help the organization continue saving animals in emergency situations and from shelters before they are euthanized.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

sybil sage May 21, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I am a mosaic artist designing uniquely personal urns, embedding photos, name and other meaningful items into the design. Please look at my site ( as I would very much like to be referenced on your site. The process and the urn have proven to be helpful in the healing process. Each client is special and I take pains to create an urn that will embrace memories of the beloved animal.

Thank you,


Barbara Abercrombie March 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I would like to add another book to your list for Pet Loss – CHERISHED: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved & Lost. The essays in this book are by such authors as Jane Smiley, Anne Lamott, Thomas McGuane etc. and deal with both the grief at the end but also the joy and meaning of the animal’s life. It’s published by New World Library, and I’m the editor.
Thank you – Barbara Abercrombie

sybil sage February 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

I am introducing a new, highly personal cremation urn that embeds photos of the pet into a beautiful mosaic design so embraces the warm memories and is as close as you can get to holding onto the pet’s presence in the home. Photos are on my site (

The idea was inspired by the loss of our dog, when looking at photos proved to be so comforting. After a successful career as a writer, I’ve turned my creativity to mosaic art, and would very much like to write a piece about the genesis of this urn (which I do for people also and as a memorial vase for those not needing an urn) as well as the process. Each is done as a custom order with the client choosing colors, providing photos and perhaps tags.

My intention is to be healing and create something beautiful that is uplifting to have in the home. I include the pet’s name in each piece. Thank you.

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