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Grieving the Loss of a Pet Needs the Health System Recognition

By Bidhu K. Mohanti

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Globally there is increased presence of pets in the households. This non-human relationship, with its dimensions of physical and emotional bonds, can get severely jolted on the death of the companion animal. It sets a feeling, ‘our life is now left with a void and the house feels utterly empty’. Unlike the loss of a child, spouse or parent which become a shared tragedy; others may not understand the depth of sadness and a sense of void in a grieving pet owner. Emotional pain and physical distress due to the loss of a companion animal are likely to be pronounced. A big challenge for the medical community is to anticipate, identify and address physical and psychosocial symptom burdens in a timely manner.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2017
Publication Title Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care
Volume 13
Issue 4
Pages 215-218
DOI 10.1080/15524256.2017.1385568
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Bidhu K. Mohanti (2018), "Grieving the Loss of a Pet Needs the Health System Recognition,"

    BibTex | EndNote

  1. Animal roles
  2. Grief
  3. Health
  4. Human-animal relationships
  5. Pet loss
  6. Pet ownership
  7. Pets and companion animals
  8. Symptoms