Pet Loss Books and Links


Click for extensive book list at APLB.org
Bibliography / Recommended Reading

Go to Pet Loss Links

Go to Pet Loss Journals


The books listed below are available online or they can be ordered at most local book stores. Consider, too, that there are many pet loss books available now and I highlight only a small sample.


1. Anderson Allen, Moira, M.Ed. Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet. Printed in the US by Dog Ear Press, 2007. 20th Anniversary Edition.

(Edited) Product Description:

Coping with Sorrow is a warm, supportive book filled with information and guidance. Allen treats the subject of companion animal death with sincere and sympathetic feelings. The book is a guide that helps us understand we are not alone in our grief. It addresses many aspects of pet loss and grief, including how to help a grieving friend. The author walks the griever through the stages of bereavement, offering explanations and coping strategies at every step. She tackles tough questions such as: Was euthanasia the right choice? Should I get another pet? And, do pets go to heaven? Anderson's book fills the need for a comprehensive, yet easily read, publication on pet loss and grief. The message is one of love, common sense and practical information. This 20th anniversary edition is written in a clear, friendly style with compassion and understanding.

2. Chiffolo, Anthony and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr. We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets. New York: The Paulist Press, 2003.

Product Description: Prayer services for beloved pets

We Thank You, God, for These is a one-of-a-kind book for pet lovers that is at once a scriptural guide, liturgical resource, and reflection on the joys of living with animals as pets. Both devotional and inspirational, this book provides a whole range of observances: a welcome for new pets, blessing of appreciation for our pets, words of prayer for our sick pets, services to bury our pets, words of condolence to ease our grief, and more. The book includes prayers and blessings for use by adults and children. I especially liked that the writing encompasses a wide variety of animals such horses, ferrets, hamsters, rabbits, birds, etc., and of course cats and dogs.

3. Kowalski, Gary. Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet. Walpole, New Hampshire: Stillpoint Publishing, 1997. (Used books available)

Review from Independent Publisher:
After Gary Kowalski, author and the minister of Burlington Vermont's Unitarian Universalist church, completed his new book, Goodbye, Friend, on dealing with losing your pet, his own elderly dog, Chinook, died. In his first book, The Souls of Animals, Kowalski wrote: "My own wise friend is my dog. He has deep knowledge to impart." Apparently, Chinook did his good work up until the end. Kowalski's new book is full of sound, compassionate advice to get you through the loss of your pet(s). Included are ideas for rituals and ceremonies, spiritual guidance and readings and poems to use for solace. The author's voice is a soothing one, not surprising for a minister whose job it is to be wise and reflective.

The book also addresses animals' grieving; their life spans; their growth, illnesses and needs. These are similar to ours: need to eat, to exercise, to sleep, to have fun, to enjoy companionship and to expect routine. The author includes advice on how to take care of yourself after the death of a pet and the importance of honesty when talking with children about this event.

Kowalski's book is not only useful for healing when a good friend dies, but also reasserts his primary message: that animals are important, that "pets are not petty," that they deserve our respect and our kind care. As the author writes, "Animals enrich our lives in countless ways, with their playfulness, their tranquility, their constancy, and their love..." Filled with beautiful poetry and prose. This book will help readers mourn and remember well.

4. Sife, Wallace. Ph.D. The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies. Howell Book House, Edition 3, 2005.

From Publishers Weekly and Product Review:

If you snicker at the notion of a book devoted to pet bereavement, consider that that very lack of sympathy may have brought the book into being. Author Wallace Sife, a Brooklyn, New York based psychotherapist and the founder of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, addresses the pet owner whose grief at a pet's death is largely misunderstood or even ridiculed by friends, associates and society in general. Although his topic easily lends itself to touchy-feely disquisitions, Sife is to be commended for offering information that is not only compassionate but concise, wide-ranging and, above all, practical.

Understanding helps heal the hurt when you lose a pet. A cherished pet gives you boundless, unconditional love and occupies a special place in your routine, your home, and your heart. When your pet dies, that warm, special place becomes a sad, empty space. This book helps you understand:

* The grieving process, including typical stages of grief and techniques for coping

* Grieving for a missing pet, one you had to give up because of a change in life situation, and other difficult circumstances

* Children and the death of a pet

* Euthanasia, including important considerations

* Religion and the death of a pet, with articles by various religious leaders

* Aftercare facilities, including an extensive index of pet cemeteries, crematories, and memorial gardens

The Loss of a Pet, Third Edition, has new expanded information, is filled with practical suggestions, resources, and most importantly, compassion and understanding. This important book helps you cope and reassures you that you are not alone. A superb contribution to a growing field.

5. Wolfelt, Alan. When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing.
Companion Press, 2004.

From the Publisher:

Affirming a pet owner's struggle with grief when his or her pet dies, this book helps mourners understand why their feelings are so strong and helps them overcome the loss. Included are practical suggestions for mourning and ideas for remembering and memorializing one's pet. Among the issues covered are understanding the many emotions experienced after the death of a pet; understanding why grief for pets is unique; pet funerals and burial or cremation; celebrating and remembering the life of one's pet; coping with feelings about euthanasia; helping children understand the death of their pet; and things to keep in mind before getting another pet.

Pet Loss Journals: (5-Star Reader Reviews at Amazon)


Luckenbach, Patty. The Kingdom of Heart: A Pet Loss Journal. Spiritual Living Press, 2005. $11.00

O,Brien, Timothy J. You Will Always Be a Part of Me...A Guide and Journal for Grieving the Loss of Your Pet. ISMPI, Inc. 2011 Includes CD and journal. $20.00

Traisman, Enid. My Pet Remembrance Journal. 2nd Edition. Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital, 2010. $9.95

Writing can help you express the emotions of grief and memorialize your beloved pet. To learn more, visit Focused Expressive Writing and click Pet Loss. Journals also make thoughtful gifts for a friend who is grieving the death of a cherished animal companion.

Pet Loss Links:


Angelspaws.com: Support and resources for pet loss or impending loss (Cincinnati-TriState Area) 

Grief Healing.com: Online Pet Loss Support Group

Grief Healing: Pet Loss Links

HelpGuide.org: Grieving the Loss of a Pet

Lightning-Strike.com: Offering a "cybershoulder" for grieving pet lovers.

Pet Loss.com: A gentle and compassionate resource for grieving pet lovers

VeterinaryPartner.com: Pet Loss Topics and a Resource for Pet Care 

Vetstreet.com: Coping with a Pet Loss

                               Five Strategies for Survivng the Loss of a Pet 


Sympathy and Remembrance:  

Clay Paws: Making paw imprints for a lasting memorial of your pet

ConfettiCats.com: "Cincinnati's shop for unique gifts for humans...and the cats who own them" Includes a large selection of pet sympathy cards 

Pet Loss: Helping Another with Pet Loss by author and grief counselor Marty Tousley 

Rainbow Bridge.com: Free pet e-sympathy cards and so much more


How to Recognize Mourning and Help Your Grieving Pet: 

From NeptuneSociety.com: Guide To Pet Bereavement   

Resources, support and education

By Moira Anderson Allen

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