Pet Loss Support Group: Top 4 Pet Loss Grief Support Communities

Are you looking for a pet loss support group to join? Are you going through the loss of a pet? Are you struggling with pet loss grief? Are you finding it hard to cope with pet loss? Do you need a shoulder to lean on or pet loss counseling? If you have answered yes to all of these questions, you are in the right place.

Hi. My name is Sean Galla, a support group facilitator with more than 10 years of experience. I have facilitated dozens of support groups, including pet loss support groups. Pets are important family members. Losing them can change your whole life, and I have seen firsthand how being part of a pet loss support group can help you through the mourning process and help you find healing. If you are finding it hard to move on after losing a pet, joining a pet loss support group can be one of the best decisions you make today.

In this article, we will answer all your questions about pet loss support groups. You will also get recommendations to the best pet bereavement support groups.

Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

What Is a Pet Loss Support Group?

A pet loss support group is a type of association for a pet loss support forum or community, usually a nonprofit, made up of people who have recently experienced pet loss and need grief counseling. The facilitator of a pet loss support group is usually someone who has experienced pet loss in part and managed to work through the grief or a qualified counselor.

If you are living with the grief of losing a beloved pet, whether it happened recently or a while ago, you are not alone in grief. Losing a beloved member of the family is one of the most devastating seasons of life. Pets are an important part of the family. You see them grow and get old, you share the good times and the bad, and you mark every milestone in your life with your pet by your side. Pets are amazing companions who take away loneliness or sadness.

When coping with sorrow on the loss of your life companion, grief can often take over, making it seem as though your life will never be the same again. Finding a pet loss support group community service near you can make it easier for you to process the loss and manage your grief. In this group, you learn that loss is part of life, and you learn to accept the loss of your pet. Pet loss support groups validate your grief as a normal part of moving on from the loss. Being part of a support group for pet bereavement can go a long way in helping you find your happiness again and honor your feelings and the memory of your pet even after an end-of-life experience.

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Pet Bereavement

Benefits of Joining a Pet Loss Support Group

When faced with pet bereavement, everyone needs a support system. This is the best way to get through grief and find healthy ways of preserving the memory of the lost loved ones. While having support from family and friends is important, they will not always be able to fully understand your grief if they have never experienced pet loss. They are also not experts in behavioral health, which requires a health professional. Sometimes, they, too, are dealing with their own grief if you lost a family pet and may not be able to be there for you fully. This is why a pet grief support group is important.

After experiencing pet loss, life, as you know, it comes to an end. You are forced to make new plans and start living life in the absence of your beloved companion. The pain you go through when you lose a part is characterized by deep grief, loneliness, and sadness, and this makes it increasingly difficult to cope with the changes in your life.

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In modern culture, bottling up emotions and pretending to move is seen as the best self-help method for dealing with grief. People try to avoid becoming a burden to the people in their life, which they think can be caused when they share their grief or mourn a dead pet for too long. What most people are not away of is that it is impossible to skip emotional steps after losing a pet. Burying feelings only makes life more difficult after the loss. It is important to go through grief.

 A grief support group is a safe space where you can share your stories, challenges, and pitfalls related to pet loss without fear of ridicule, judgment, or being misunderstood. Being part of a pet grief share group will make you feel more at peace as you embrace the grieving process part of the healing journey.

Joining a pet grief support group connects you with people who understand, this making you feel less lonely. In these groups, you can foster great connections with other members. Being part of a pet loss support group can help you cope with your loss and help you enjoy life even after your loss.

In a pet loss support groups, you get:

  • Emotional support in a safe and non-judgmental environment
  • To start your healing process by sharing your story and learning from the experiences of others.
  • Understanding from members who have experienced pet loss.
  • To learn coping skills to help you through the most challenging days in your grief journey.
  • To adopt new routines that help to keep the memory of your loved ones in your heart and mind without it affecting your quality of life.
  • To see how different people deal with loss and how you can help them as they help you.
  • Space to openly grieve and express your emotions and struggles as you go through the healing process.

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Steps to Take When Experiencing Pet Loss

Allow yourself to grieve

When you lose a pet, your adrenaline shoots up and this can cause you to feel numbness or many different emotions. Ensure you allow yourself to feel the initial shock of the news and allow yourself to grieve the loss of your pet. Acknowledging the loss and responding to grief is an important first step to healing.

Focus on moving forward

It is easy to want to sleep all day and remain the moment while wallowing in your sadness. The best thing to do once you deal with the initial emotions of the loss is to focus on the next step after your loss. Focus on the things you need to do next, like planning a funeral and giving your pet a worthy sendoff. Planning the next move ensures you keep moving, and your mind remains active.

Pet Loss Support Forum

Find a support system

Pet loss can make you feel very lonely, especially if the pet was your life companion. After the loss, you need to find a support system to help you through your grief. Joining a pet loss support group can be one of the best ways to get a supportive network of people who understand pet loss.

Allow yourself to heal

For you to heal from your loss, you need to go through all the stages of grieving. There are no timelines on how long you should grieve or hurt from your loss. It is important to give yourself time to grieve and find healing as a healthy way of dealing with the loss. 

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Recommendations for the Best Pet Loss Support Groups

San Francisco SPCA

San Francisco SPCA organization gives grief support and helping children and pet guardians who are finding it hard to cope with the death of a pet. The pet loss support group meets through in-person meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at a predetermined location. Since the covid-19 pandemic, the group has moved the group sessions online in like with the social distancing rules.

The Anti-Cruelty Society

The Anti-Cruelty Society animal welfare organization offers numerous animal safety services, including facilitating a pet loss support group. They seek to build a humane society by offering aid to pets and educating people on pet care and support. They also facilitate pet adoption, which can go a long way once you are ready to welcome a new member to your family after a loss.

Pet Loss at Home

Pet Loss at Home resources page online connects you with pet loss support groups from different parts of America. It has guides to the Association for pet loss and pet bereavement, which is a chatroom that offers free expert advice and guidance to people when a pet dies. It also connects you to the group healing discussion group, chances spot support forum, and the rainbow bridge chatroom and support forum. Call the pet loss support hotline for more details.

Mensgroup

If you are a man in need of pet loss grief support, Men’s Group is a men-only online support group for you. The normal culture around the world discourages men from openly showing their emotions even when they are in immense pain. At mensgroup.com, you are allowed to share your fears and emotions related to the loss of a beloved pet. You can rsvp for a meeting to join the discussion and access pet loss resources and referral to an animal hospital if you are considering euthanasia.

Pet Loss and Bereavement

Conclusion

Pet loss support groups offer pet owners experiencing the death of a pet a safe space to vent and find healing without fear of judgment or ridicule. You will be in the company of other pet owners who have gone through loss and have managed to find healing.

By being in this company, you learn healthy coping skills and how to continue living a positive and successful life even after the loss of a companion animal. You are not alone. In this COVID-19 times, an online pet grief support group like mensgroup.com can be the best choice to avert a mental health crisis after a loss.

*Sources:
1. Coping with the loss of a pet
2. Why We Need to Take Pet Loss Seriously
3. Companion Animal Death: A Qualitative Analysis of Relationship Quality, Loss, and Coping
4. The death of pet can hurt as much as the loss of a relative
5. Coping with the death of your pet

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