Animal Protection Line


Grieving Pets

Joey Leslie is a social worker who works at the Edmonton Holistic Veterinary Clinic. Her role is to help families in their grieving when they have to say goodbye to a beloved pet.

Leslie came to understand that many people may be struggling with their grief after her own experiences. She had to say goodbye to two of her dogs. In one case, the medical emergency was sudden and unexpected, in the other, she had to weigh quality of life and when was the right time to euthanize her pet. Leslie struggled with her feelings at the time and soon realized that other pet families likely face the same emotional roller coaster.



Tips for coping with the grief of losing a pet

  • Feel your feelings. When you bury your feelings, they come out in different, and sometimes unhealthy ways.
  • Find ways to express your feelings, whether it’s writing them down, drawing or painting, singing, dancing, playing music, etc.
  • Maintain your hobbies and activities such as walking, but if they trigger feelings, try changing the time of day or route that you normally walk. Physical fitness is important in helping to heal.
  • Set aside time in the day for grieving. If you plan the time of the day you want grief, it reduces the risk of the feelings coming out at an inappropriate time such as when you’re driving, or at work. When you’re done with your grieving time, put the photos/keepsakes away, move from the location you’re in, or splash your face with water to help navigate away from the grieving moment.
  • Plan ahead for milestones and anniversaries. Preparing for birthdays and other milestones can help with the hurt of grief.
  • Don’t allow others to tell you how to feel. Your feelings are yours and they happen naturally and are necessary to the healing process.

Listen to this Episode

Other Episodes You May Be Interested In

Alberta SPCA News

Alberta LiveStock
Dan Kobe

Smoky Conditions Can Affect Animals

It’s smoky in Alberta! We can all feel how the smoke impacts us, and if the smoke is bothering you, it is likely irritating for your pets as well. Wildfires are more common in the United States and the American Veterinary Medical Association lists these tips for keeping your pet healthy during times of intense

Read More »
Dan Kobe

Alberta SPCA Helping Animals Impacted By Wildfires

Alberta SPCA Peace Officers and staff are working hard to help animals impacted by wildfires in Alberta. Team members have been active in Drayton Valley and Brazeau County, at the request of the municipalities, feeding animals in their homes, pets that were not able to evacuate with their families. Teams of Peace Officers, staff members,

Read More »
abandoned cats
Dan Kobe

Abandoned Kittens Highlight Need to Spay/Neuter Pets

After two kittens were found abandoned in a child’s backpack last week in the St. Albert area, the Alberta SPCA and the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) are reminding pet guardians about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets to prevent unwanted litters. The six-month-old kittens were found together, enclosed in a pink backpack in

Read More »

The vision of the Alberta SPCA is that every animal in Alberta be treated humanely.

To hear the latest from the Alberta SPCA, subscribe to our newsletter.

Don't miss new updates in your email

Cash Lottery

Win Cash Help Animals