Watch video: Grief and pet loss - preparing for the time

The owner of an incurably sick or old dog is going to be aware that the time will come when they have to grieve their loss. However, the period immediately before or after their loss is a very difficult time to make decisions.

Belinda Johnston from (, a vet who specialises in bereavement, suggests in this video (filmed in 2013) that we start to make those decisions early on when we are emotionally stronger and more able to cope with them. She goes through the different issues we need to consider. She also suggests some helpful things we can do to help ourselves to cope with the grief.

Practical considerations before losing a pet– eg where it will be done and whether you want to be present, whether you want a particular vet
Burial or cremation – bury in the garden or pet cemetery – individual or group crematorium – will you want the ashes back? Would you want a wooden casket, scatter tube or urn?

Belinda also discusses the idea of getting new dog before losing the old one and the importance of not replacing the previous dog, but rather accepting a new dog will be different but may be able to fill the void.

Our Special Friends helps people continue to benefit from animal companionship by providing practical and emotional support during illness, bereavement or other crises.

This video covers:
0:00 Introduction
0:14 Preparing in advance
1:33 Practical considerations before losing a pet
2:39 Burial or cremation options
4:26 Filling the gap – should I get another dog?

Other videos about grief and pet loss:
Grief and pet loss – symptoms you may experience
Grief and pet loss - preparing for the time
Grief and pet loss - how to cope
Grief and pet loss - what support is available

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