Watch video: Grief and pet loss – symptoms you may experience

Belinda Johnston from ( is a vet who specialises in bereavement. In this video (filmed in 2013), she talks about the bond people have with their pet which differs from person to person. When a pet dies, due to old age, illness or accident, or if we lose them due to a change of circumstances such as having to move into accommodation that doesn't allow pets (such as a care home), or having your pet go missing or be stolen, we need to grieve.

There are a wide range of symptoms of grief:
Physical - such as crying, loss of appetite, loss of concentration, sleeplessness, vomiting, d+ collapsing.
Emotional - anger (including displaced anger), guilt, sadness, depression
Cognitive - blaming people, suicidal thoughts, denial, hallucinations
Social implications - withdrawing, becoming dependant on others
Anticipatory grief - grieving before the actual loss

Not everyone will display all the symptoms, but it is helpful to know the possible responses people might have so that we are not alarmed if we react in a way we don't expect. Belinda goes through what these responses might be.

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

0:00 Introduction
0:20 The human-animal bond / human-animal relationship
1:39 The difficulty of losing a pet
3:07 Symptoms of grief
3:51 Emotional signs of grief
5:14 Cognitive symptoms of grief
7:05 Social implications
9:06 Anticipatory grief

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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