The death of a beloved pet can cause extreme grief and trigger grief over previous trauma, according to a study in Human-Animal Interactions, but society and even some mental health care providers don’t always recognize how deep the human-animal bond is, says co-author Colleen Rolland, a pet loss grief specialist. People who don’t feel comfortable expressing grief after the loss of a pet due to social stigma may turn inward, and Rolland says health care professionals should consider pets as integral to some patients’ social support systems.
A pet loss grief specialist says sometimes the loss of a beloved animal can trigger feelings about childhood grief or other traumas
Fear of stigma keeps many from voicing their sorrow when a pet dies
There’s a segment of the population that doesn’t get it, specialists say