World Pet Memorial Day | Coping With the Loss of a Pet
The second Tuesday in June marks a day that may be difficult for some; World Pet Memorial Day. We know that days like this can bring up a lot of feelings for anyone who has lost or is preparing to lose a pet and so we wanted to provide a place full of information, help and ideas to honour your beloved pet. We will be sharing ways that you can celebrate and remember the lives of your pets that have passed away, as well as details on some incredible pet bereavement services.
The loss of a pet impacts everyone differently and there is no right or wrong way to feel. However, feelings of sadness, loneliness and even depression are very common and can be overwhelming when you lose your furry friend. Often it can feel that friends, family members or colleagues don’t quite understand how difficult losing a pet can be and grieving for a pet can often be a lonely experience. But we wanted to help raise awareness that you are not alone, there are many people who have been through the same heartbreak, and they can offer help and guidance during these difficult times.
If you need someone to talk to, there are a number of services available to you. Whether you recently lost a pet, are preparing to lose your pet or lost a companion animal years ago, these services are all here to help. The animal charity Blue Cross offers a Pet Bereavement Support Service for anyone who needs it. They are able to offer emotional support, confidential advice and a sympathetic ear every day from 8:30am to 8:30pm, simply give them a call on 0800 096 6606. Sometimes it can be easier to write your feelings down. If you would prefer to talk to someone via email you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will get back to you within 48 hours. For more information, you can visit their website.
Cats Protection also offer a confidential phone line called Paws to Listen which provides help to anyone suffering grief or bereavement of a beloved cat. Call them on 0800 024 94 94, the line is open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. To read more about the phone line and to access other resources provided by Cats Protection, visit their website.
UK-based charity Animal Samaritans have their own Pet Bereavement Line on 0203 745 9859 and also have a memorial wall on their website where you can share photos and memories of your late pet.
Some online resources that you may find helpful during this time of grieving are Living with Pet Bereavement, a website that was created to give pet carers information and guidance on every aspect of pet loss. There is also The Ralph Site, a not-for-profit website that provides support to pet owners around the loss of a beloved companion. EASE Pet Loss Support Services offer a wide range of support resources, covering different aspects of grief in pet bereavement which are all free to download or view or listen to online which included some helpful resources for children.
If you are looking for ways to remember and celebrate the life of your pet this World Pet Memorial day, we have thought of a few ways that you can do so;
- You could commission an artist to create a memorial portrait of your late pet from your favourite photograph of them. We highly recommend Mogsmugs on Etsy who not only offer prints of your pet but also mugs, cushions and phone cases with your pets likeness on them, which can be incredibly comforting to see throughout your home. Above is an example of a portrait she made of my beloved dog Rogue, who passed away March 2021.
- You could create a photo album to memorialise your pet. You could use physical photos in an album and customise each page depending on the memory you have of the photograph. You could also get a photo album printed using an online service, simply upload your photos to a website and you will get a beautiful photo album to cherish. You could even upload your photos to an album on a social media account so that friends and family can also remember your pet and leave comments with any special memories they may have.
- If you have an outdoor space, you could create a memorial garden in honour of your pet. Memorial gardens can be as big or small as you like. You can plant flowers, plants or trees in your garden and even decorate with objects that remind you or your pet. You could include a plaque, sign or stone to mark the garden too. If you don’t have an outdoor space, you could consider looking into planting a tree in your pets honour in a local park.
- You could donate to a charity or volunteer with them in your pet’s name. There are many local animal charities and rescue groups that would love to honour your pet by helping other animals in need. This may be particularly meaningful if there was a specific charity involved in your pets life, for example if they were adopted from a shelter etc.
We hope that anyone experiencing pet loss can find some solace today in celebrating the life and memory of your wonderful pet, however you may choose to do so. We know that losing your pet can be one of the hardest things to experience and if you are struggling, we strongly encourage you to contact one of the bereavement services we mentioned in this post. For those of you preparing to say goodbye to a pet, we offer our sincerest condolences and hope that some of the information we provided may be helpful to you in the coming days.
"One last word of farewell, Dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: "Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved". No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail."