Owning a pet is a tremendously joyful experience. Pets offer humans so much love and companionship and the bond between pet and owner can be very deep. It is only natural, therefore, that losing a pet causes grief, just the same way that losing a human friend or family member would.
There are more issues involved in losing a pet – the decision to euthanase (put to sleep) a family pet can cause guilt and anger, the animal may be lost or stolen and there is uncertainty and no body or the pet may have had to be rehomed for some reason. All these situations will lead to grief and this may not be understood by friends or family who consider the lost pet to be ‘just an animal’. It is very important to allow yourself to grieve after losing a pet, as suppressed grief can cause tremendous problems in the long term.