The AVMA recognizes that people can experience significant stress during an animal's end-of-life transition and death, whether the animal is a companion, research, zoo, wild, or agricultural animal. The grief and emotions that occur during this time can be similar to that experienced by people who have lost a family member or close friend. The AVMA recognizes the benefits of mental health support services (e.g., pet loss support) for these individuals. Veterinary professionals should be familiar with resources and services on grief and loss and share information as needed. While expression of empathy and support are encouraged, formal mental health services should be provided by appropriately trained mental health professionals.
Client education materials
English-language brochure: Pet loss and grief
Spanish-language brochure: Pérdida de mascotas y aflicción
Webpage: Coping with the loss of a pet