How do brits cope with the loss of a pet?

The death of a pet is tough on all pet owners, and it certainly can have a huge effect on their mindset and wellbeing.

2nd July 2017

The death of a pet is tough on all pet owners, and it certainly can have a huge effect on their mindset and wellbeing.

Our new survey has discovered that a tenth of Brits seek counselling or have been prescribed anti-depressants to help them cope following the loss of a pet.

In addition to this, over half of the respondents admitted that the death of their pet made them feel the same, or a greater level of sadness as losing a relative.

A fifth of pet owners want to show their furry companions the same level of love and respect as any other family member and are prepared to pay for a proper pet funeral to be held in their honour. However, a third of Brits want their pets’ body to remain closer to home, and their burial preference would be in their back garden.

Breaking down the deaths of UK pets, we discovered that only 39% die due to old age, with a quarter dying due to a serious injury or illness, whilst around a tenth (9%) are sadly killed in accidents.

The results showed that, sadly, Belfast was the city where pets were most likely to die in a road accident.

A person with their Terrier on a bench

Many pets in fact die due to poisoning, with the Veterinary Poisons Information Service stating that chocolate, lilies and ibuprofen are the most common culprits.

A pet’s death doesn’t only take its toll on Brits emotionally, but financially too. We discovered that the average pet death costs owners £165.29, with a tenth of owners having to fork out around £2,000 to cover vet costs. Despite the costly fees and bouts of grief, over half of owners still want a new pet after the loss of another.

Two thirds of owners were found to be very sentimental, treasuring old photographs of their former pets. Women were found to be the most nostalgic, with just over a third (35%) opting to hold onto their lost pet’s collar, compared to 29% of male owners.

Surprisingly, many owner’s attachment to their pet is spiritual, with 40% believing that they have, or will be, visited by the spirit of their former pet, whilst an eighth have become proud owners of a cat or a dog, by being given them in a will.

Sadly, all pet owners should be aware that the death of a cat or a dog is inevitable, and it’s best to be prepared despite your unconditional love for them.

Keeping hold of items such as photos and collars can really help you to deal with grief when you lose a furry friend.

When it comes to telling children about the death of a pet, it is best to be honest, but it is also a good idea to prepare them prior to the event where possible, by explaining that they are unwell.

Remember to take out pet insurance when getting a new pet, to protect yourself from any unexpected costs.

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Animal Friends Insurance is a multi-award winning FCA-regulated pet insurer, founded in 1998 to provide industry-leading pet insurance and first-class animal care to create a better life for every animal.
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Our policyholders have helped donate over £8.5 million to more than 800 animal charities worldwide and by educating and inspiring others to act on current events and responsible pet ownership, Animal Friends is driving positive change for animal welfare and conservation.