Schertz Animal Hospital’s Blog
When the Time Comes: How to Help a Friend Cope with Pet Loss
The loss of a beloved pet is a day every pet owner dreads. The heart-wrenching ordeal is an inevitable part of pet ownership, but that fact doesn’t make it any easier to cope with such an enormous loss.
It can be difficult to know what to do or say to comfort a friend who is grieving the death of a pet. Helping someone grieve is an important part of a relationship, and can give you the opportunity to show a friend or family member how much you care. Check out our guidelines for helping a friend cope with pet loss.
It’s easy to say or do the wrong thing when a friend is going through the grieving process. In our experience, having a plan in place ahead of time can make all the difference when it comes to supporting a loved one in a sympathetic and helpful way. Consider the following:
- Encourage healthy grieving – Remember that everyone expresses grief differently. Be accepting of your loved one’s grieving process, and allow him or her the time and space to express their emotions in whatever way feels best.
- Don’t minimize the experience – For some people, the death of a pet is as devastating as the death of a human family member. Avoid saying things like “At least he didn’t suffer”, sharing stories of your own pet’s death, or any other effort to reduce the enormity of your friend’s emotions.
- Offer your time – Offer to help with household chores, errands, or caring for other pets. Help your friend plan a memorial service or other remembrance ceremony or project.
- Take a walk down memory lane – When your friend is ready, reminisce about his or her pet, sharing funny or heartwarming stories that you remember.
- Just listen – Non-judgmental listening is a powerful form of support when a loved one is grieving.
- Be there – The grieving process doesn’t end once the pet has been buried/cremated. Your loved one will probably still need your support in the weeks and months following the death, even a simple phone call to ask how he or she is doing can be enormously helpful.
Helping Children Cope with Pet Loss
For many children, the loss of a pet may be their first experience with death. Many parents understandably feel the urge to shield a child from death and the subsequent grief, but helping your child work through the wide range of emotions that follows pet loss is ultimately the best thing you can do for him or her.
- Stick to the basic truths of your pet’s death. Offer age-appropriate explanations and answer your child’s questions honestly.
- Don’t hide your own sadness…letting your child see you experiencing your emotions shows that it’s ok to grieve.
- If you chose to euthanize your pet, help your child understand this difficult decision and why it was the right choice for your pet.
- Inform your child’s teacher or caregiver and ask for understanding support.
- Check out your public library for age-appropriate books about pet loss.
- Don’t adopt a new pet too quickly; your child deserves time to process the loss of a special friend.
When a loved one has experienced a tremendous loss, sometimes the best way we can offer support is by simply being present.
Awesome, caring, sympathetic and pets are Number One! — D.O
I LOVE Dr. Mossberg. He and the staff are Amazing and SOOO CARING! They are the BEST — M. Lerma
Dr. Mossburg is WONDERFUL! He is so patient! Answers all my questions. I don't feel rushed. He is just so awesome with our Sophie! — S. Cobarruvias
This is the only place I trust with my girl. They always take great care of my Yorkie. — A Byrd
We can't say enough about Schertz Animal Hospital. Dr. Rodriguez and the whole staff are wonderful and so caring. — P. Ring
This is a wonderful animal hospital. Will highly recommend them for anyone who loves and cares about their pets. — B. Lewis
Have taken our pets there for years. Dr. R. Is the best. We appreciate him and the rest of his hard working staff. — C. Yeary
These are our first pets and first ever Vet visit. We are very pleased with the attention, knowledge, and quality of care. Very pleased with our decision!. — J. Tibbetts
We love the care the staff provides, they are big enough to provide services without having to wait long for an appointment, but still make you feel like family. Love this place. — T. Ha
Took my cat in today on an emergency basis and they were so helpful and kind. They have done what they can for him. I have a dog too and this is the only place I will be taking her to. Best vet we have ever been too. — L. Hamilton
Exceptional customer service and great care of my Sammy! Dr. Rodriguez "Dr. R" is the BEST! — A. Garcia
We absolutely love Schertz Animal Hospital for our puppy! They are so caring and take good care of our Bella. — P. Willard
The entire staff is friendly to me and my Bradley. I feel that my Bradley is in good hands. — A. Cano
Love Schertz Animal Hospital. The staff are all friendly and helpful. Dr. Mossburg is thorough and caring. We have taken 3 of our rescues there. Most recently our 7 year old Rottweiler we rescued. They have always taken excellent care of them. — A. Peterson
Schertz Animal Hospital really cares about your pet. They know their stuff. They been in Schertz for many years. All the doctors really know how to relate to us as they are pet owners too. I highly recommend them for all your Veterinary needs. You won't be sorry. SAH thank you for taking such great care of my Service Dog. — K. Duchess
Schertz Animal Hospital is a group of some of the most selfless people. They have been so attentive and caring to my pups, literally dropping everything to care for their needs. I am blessed and ever so grateful to have this team a part of my little family's life. Alley and Noah looooove you all! Y'all are the bomb dot com! Keep on keepin' on ladies and gents! — A.H
Dr. Mossberg and his assistant, Terri, are outstanding! Rusty can be difficult and they are so patient and kind. My husband and I really appreciate that they go the extra mile! Thank you!!! — T. & M. Taylor
I am totally satisfied with the practices, procedures, and service currently in place and have no recommendation for improvement. — R. Schutte
The front staff are awesome and have great attitudes. Very friendly and approachable. — R. & D. Carter
This is the one place that I feel completely safe with taking my Jasmine too. All of you take good care of her. Thank you. — C. & J. Smith
I appreciate being able to walk in (I did call first) with no appt. The doctor was booked but he still took care of my pet. Kudos to Dr. Rodriguez!! — S. & C. Mag
You are doing everything super good!!! Keep it up!!!! — W. Williams
I have never had a vet office that treats its patients so well, and throughly explains all diagnosis and possible treatment. I have always bragged on this office and will continue to do so. — M. & N. Heller
Always professional, clean atmosphere. — J. Wilson
Love how Dr Rodriguez has a passion for what he does - it makes a huge difference! The staff is friendly and caring - thank you. — Anonymous
Very nice facility that is well kept up. Whenever one of my pets needs medical care,I know I can rely on Schertz Animal Hospital to provide excellent care. — D. & R. Lanier
Dr. Rodriguez and his staff are always pleasant, caring and I feel very confident in the care given to all of our pets! :) — M. & J. Hild