The Impact Of Pet Loss During Covid-19 (Is It Worse?)


It seems COVID-19 is taking so much from us. Our loved ones, our jobs, our schedules, and our normalcy. 

With so many people having died during the pandemic, it may feel unseemly to mourn over the loss of a pet, except loss is loss and takes many forms. 

So, is the loss of a pet worse during COVID-19?

We live in a time where the warmth of a hug is a fading feeling, where weddings and funerals feel like private affairs, smiles are concealed behind masks as we wait in isolation, alongside our loyal companions.

We find ourselves spending more time together, and if it wasn’t already obvious enough, it’s times like these that show us the importance of our pets and having someone to lean on. So when we lose this constant companionship and we’re left to grieve in isolation, it can feel suffocating and the grief is inescapable.

Restrictions could mean that we aren't able to be alongside our forever friend in their final moments and the difficulty of getting out and about leaves us with fewer people to find comfort in and more time to reflect.

There are a myriad of ways to help us with our grief, but nothing will ever fully fill the space our loyal friend glowed so brightly within, especially during COVID-19. However, there are a few things that can soften the hurt. Alongside cuddle clones, some people have taken to putting ashes in teddy bears and sleeping with them in this time where a hug means so much more than it ever has.

Losing a pet through a pandemic may feel worse, but no matter what life throws at us, to be alive means to lose. And yet we prevail, holding memories of those passed-on tightly between our arms, knowing they’re no longer by our side, but forever in our hearts.


The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice.


Grief factsheets

If you’re in need of some extra support in the days and weeks following your pet’s passing, take a look at these handy guides written by leading figure in grief and empathy education and author of "When Pets Die: It's Alright To Grieve,"  Doris Zagdanski. 


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