Last year, Americans spent more than 41 billion dollars on the care and pampering of the family pet. That's according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Which adds the strong bond between people and their pets makes it extremely difficult when owners are faced with a pet's terminal illness or death. "Everyone accepts it a little bit differently, but everyone has to go through it differently." "Some children can act out and grieve about it. Other children don't cry about it, but you'll find out weeks later something might happen on the playground and that'll bring about their emotions of the loss of their pet."
Dr. Soares says it's important for people to acknowledge and express their grief over the loss of a pet. She says some people grieve immediately while others may not experience a reaction for weeks, even months after the loss of a pet.
Did you know the American Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals offers a pet loss hotline. They tell me they get about 300 calls a year, not just from those who have lost a pet and also from many who are torn about whether to put their pet to sleep. So, if you are grieving over a pet or know someone who is, you can reach the pet loss hotline by calling (877) 474-3310.