What is Veterinary Hospice? • Is hospice care right for my pet as well as my family? • Hospice Care Packages • Assessing Quality of Life
• Emotional Support and Bereavement • Memorialization Resources • Consent Forms & Other Documents
We strongly encourage you to seek emotional support during your pet’s hospice journey. Caring for a dying pet takes an emotional toll on the caregiver(s). Your own emotional needs are just as important as the needs of your pet. What’s more, a pet parent that does not invest in good self-care will be less able to adequately care for the needs of the pet.
Support can be found through many sources:
· Certified mental health professionals
· Spiritual and religious leaders
· Support groups
· Family and friends
Whatever support or coping methods you use, please make a point to start caring for yourself early and often. The emotional journey begins well before the loss occurs, and continues long after. Truthfully, if you are currently considering end-of-life services for your pet, your journey has already begun.
Grief Counseling and Therapy
Many pet parents are best supported through their grief journey by seeking the advice of a mental health professional. Experienced counselors, therapists, and social workers can provide structured care and a safe environment in which to explore emotions and begin the healing process. Counseling is strongly recommended as a means to cope with the stress of caring for a dying pet as well, not only for the grief process following the death itself.
We are proud to recommend the following local mental health care providers:
Kay E. Whitehead MSW, LCSW, FT
Nancy Eisenman MSW, LCSW and associates (Counseling for adults, families, and children)
Confidential and Secure Online Counseling available
Local Support Groups – sponsored by Rose Pet Memorial Center
Some pet parents can feel isolated in their grief, particularly if their friends, family, and co-workers do not have pets. Non-pet-owners can seem unsympathetic to the pain of pet loss: “It’s just a dog,” “it’s just a cat.” Pet loss support groups are an excellent way to connect with others who understand the sadness associated with saying goodbye to a pet who is more than just an animal, but is in fact a beloved part of the family. Sharing your experiences with others who have had similar struggles, and who share your love of animals, can be particularly comforting.
Support groups are open to both pet parents who have lost a pet and those who are anticipating the loss of a pet. Groups meet for an hour on the first week of each month at two Indianapolis locations. Each meeting will have a facilitator. All information discussed is kept confidential. There is no charge to attend.
For support group details, please visit Rose Pet Memorial Center’s website:
For those who cannot or do not wish to attend face-to-face support groups, online support groups and communities are an option:
*NOTE: The views expressed by any representative, member, or affiliate of any support group or association, belong solely to the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pleasant Paws Vet Care or its staff.
Pet Loss and Children
Saying goodbye to a pet can be particularly difficult for kids. Pets and children often seem to have a very special bond – rough housing, sneaking snacks before dinner, and just generally getting into all kinds of mischief together. Many children grow up with the family pet by their side, never knowing life without them. What’s more, the loss of a pet is often a child’s first experience with death. Dealing with emotions life grief and anger at a tender young age is difficult to say the least. Fortunately, there are resources available to help parents support their kids through the grieving process. Below are just two examples:
· A Special Place for Charlee: A Child’s Companion Through Pet Loss by Debby Morehead – ISBN:096540490-0