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Coping With The Loss Of A Pet

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Losing a pet can be a deeply traumatic experience, which may affect clients mentally and emotionally. For kids and teens, the grief felt from pet bereavement can be as intense as losing a human friend or family member, especially when the pet is considered part of the family.

The Coping With The Loss Of A Pet handout helps clients accept their pet's absence and gradually find ways to fill the gap left by their loss. The handout uses the acronym UNFORGOTTEN with specific tips, such as understanding feelings and nurturing oneself.

Learning coping strategies allows kids and teens to heal gradually and in a healthy manner. Caring adults can also assist children in preparing for events that may trigger emotions associated with the loss of a pet. Encouraging conversations about the pet and their memories together can help normalize the grieving process.

This handout can be found in our Grief And Loss Handouts Bundle, which includes 13 pages of supportive resources for those going through the grieving process.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of grief worksheets and handouts.


  1. Adams, E. K., Murray, K., Trost, S. G., & Christian, H. (2024). Longitudinal effects of dog ownership, dog acquisition, and dog loss on children’s movement behaviours: Findings from the PLAYCE cohort study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-023-01544-9
  2. Crawford, K. M., Zhu, Y., Davis, K. A., Ernst, S., Jacobsson, K., Nishimi, K., Smith, A. D., & Dunn, E. C. (2020). The mental health effects of pet death during childhood: Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 30(10), 1547-1558. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-020-01594-5
  3. Schmidt, M., Naylor, P. E., Cohen, D., Gomez, R., Moses, J. A., Rappoport, M., & Packman, W. (2018). Pet loss and continuing bonds in children and adolescents. Death Studies, 44(5), 278-284. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2018.1541942
  4. Uttley, C. M. (2019). Adolescence, pet loss, grief, and therapeutic interventions. Pet Loss, Grief, and Therapeutic Interventions, 35-54. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429505201-4
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  • File: PDF
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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