Pet Loss & Bereavement Articles & Research

Updated: 07/17/2013 (* denotes newest listings)

Recruitment for Research Volunteers

* Children’s Psychosocial Adjustment and Continuing Bonds Following the Loss of a Pet, Researchers at Palo Alto University are conducting a study to support children and families experiencing the loss of a pet.  They are looking for children aged 8 - 18 who have lost a pet in the past 12 - 18 months to participate with their parents.  They have several measures that will be administered to children (ages 8-18) and their parents, that will not only allow them to discuss/understand their grief, but to be supported by researchers. The ultimate goal is to help understand and support children experiencing the loss of a pet, and to get an understanding of the effect on the family system. For complete information, click on the link above.


* Death, Loss, and Grief in Literature for Youth, by Alice Crosetto and Rajinder Garcha.  The authors identify hundreds of resources that will help educators, professionals, parents, siblings, guardians, and students learn about coping with the loss of a loved one and the grief process. These resources include books, Internet sites, and media titles aimed at students and those helping them through the grieving process. Chapters in this volume include fiction and non-fiction titles about the loss of a family member, a friend, and a pet, as well as general reference resources, curricular resources, and websites.

Snort's Special Gift, A Family Story
, by Suzann Yue, Illustrated by Lin Wang. 2012.  Children's picture book that addresses ways to grieve and remember a beloved family pet.

Book Review: Grieving the Death of a Pet, by Betty J. Carmack. 

A 30-Day Guide to Healing from the Loss of Your Pet, by Gael J. Ross. 2010.

Coping With Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira K. Anderson. 1996. 

The Human-Animal Bond and Grief by Laurel S. Lagoni, Carolyn Butler, and Suzanne Hetts. 1994.


* Lifelines for Grieving Pet Ownersby Genevieve Rajewski August 6, 2012   A phone call away, veterinary students help owners work through the heartache of losing a beloved animal companion

Healing from pet loss during the holidays
by Claire Chew Gillenson, Life Transitions/Grief Coach based in Los Angeles. The holidays are around the corner and it can be easy to feel lonely and isolated after experiencing the loss of a pet. If this is your first holiday without a beloved family cat or dog—below are five ways in getting through these weeks without having to “be strong”, “act normal” or hide from the emotional pain.

Explaining anticipatory pet loss to a toddler by Claire Gillenson, M.A. Pet Loss Educator/Grief Coach.  For many pet lovers, our first glimpse of death may have been as a child. For that reason alone, honesty is very important. It can lay the foundation for how we deal with loss the rest of our lives.

10 nutritional tips to help you move through challenging life situations by Claire Chew Gillenson, M.A. Life Transition/Grief Coach.  The stress from grief and loss can cause a major toll on our body. Often, our appetites are first to go when our heart is sinking. Here are 10 healthy tips to take care of your body temple during this challenging time.

Its important to grieve when a pet dies by Warren Tasker, Canwest News Service, March, 2010. Many people refuse to discuss the death of their pets because the pain is unbearable. They want to keep quiet about it, hoping the sadness will dissipate over time. Perhaps, if it were discussed more openly, they could navigate through the pain and sorrow a little better. They would understand their situation more clearly and speed the healing process.

How much can you mourn a pet? by Finlo Rohrer, BBC News Magazine, January 2010. Some might think true grief is reserved for our fellow homo sapiens, but as a moving tribute from one British politician shows, the loss of a pet prompts real mourning.

The Human-Animal Bond by Judith C. Stutts, Ph.D; Adjunct Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences; College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University. If you are grieving for an animal that is sick, one that is dying, or one that has died, you are not alone.

Elders and Pet Loss by Betty J. Carmack, R.N., Ed.D.; Professor, School of Nursing, University of San Francisco. The loss of a much loved companion animal can be especially difficult for older adults, who experience the tremendous benefits of companion animals as well as the profound grief responses to a pet's death. 

Children and the Death of a Pet by Enid Traisman, MSW; Director of Pet Loss Support Services, DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital; Portland, Oregon. When a child experiences the death of a beloved pet, he or she may experience emotional reactions that can be painful and frightening.

The Loss of a Service Dog
 by Cynthia Clay, M. A.; Marriage and Family Therapist; Service Dog user 10 years. Losing your service dog is an emotionally charged experience because of your incredibly strong bond together.

Requiem for a Service Dog Originally published in Alert , National Service Dog Center® Newsletter Vol. 5, No. 1 1994. Edited for the web and updates. The death of a beloved pet always affects the owner, and perhaps also a small group of family and friends.

Loss of a Therapy Animal by Charlene Douglas; The Rainbow Passage. The more we understand the human-animal bond, the more we understand the feelings and emotions of grief when a pet dies.


* Attachment, Social Support, and Responses Following the Death of a Companion Animal. King, Loren C.; Werner, Paul D. Omega (Westport). 2011-2012; 64(2): 119-141.

A Veterinarian's Role in Helping Pet Owners with Decision Making. Shanan, Amir. Veterinary Clinics of North America, Small Animal Practice. 2011 May; 41(3): 635-646.

A Survey of Veterinarians in the US:   Euthanasia and Other End-of-Life Issues. Dickinson, George E.; Roof, Paul D.; Roof, Karin W. Anthrozoös. 2011 Jun; 24(2): 167-174. Dickinson, George E.; Roof, Paul D.; Roof, Karin W. Anthrozoös. 2011 Jun; 24(2): 167-174.

Cremation Services Upon the Death of a Companion Animal: Views of Service Providers and Service Users. Chur-Hansen, Anna; Black, Anne; Gierasch, Amanda; Pletneva, Afisa; Winefield, Helen. Society & Animals. 2011; 19(3): 248-260.  

An Attachment Perspective on Human–Pet Relationships: Conceptualization and Assessment of Pet Attachment Orientations. Zilcha-Mano, Sigal; Mikulincer, Mario; Shaver, Phillip R.  Journal of Research in Personality. 2011 Aug; 45(4): 345-357.

Continuing Bonds and Psychosocial Adjustment in Pet Loss. Packman, Wendy; Field, Nigel P.; Carmack, Betty J.; Ronen, Rama. Journal of Loss and Trauma. 2011 Jul; 16(4): 341-357.  

Psychiatric Investigation of 18 Bereaved Pet Owners. Kimura, Yuya; Kawabata, Hidenobu; Maezawa, Masaji. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science. 2011; 73(8): 1083-1087.


Online Courses Login Button

To enlarge the content on our website,
please press and hold down the Ctrl and + keys until it is large enough for you.




875 124th Ave NE, Suite 101 • Bellevue, WA 98005 U.S.A.

Web site design by : Uptown Studios