The Blue Cross has found that nearly half of UK pet owners have felt they have had to suffer in silence after losing a beloved animal, with just 52% saying they would feel comfortable reaching out for support. The findings came from a survey by the national charity involving 2,000 owners.

The survey revealed that just 50% of respondents were open to discussing the loss of a pet with family or friends, while less than 40% felt they could open up to their employer. Most (81%) felt they couldn’t request time off work to grieve; with 67% believing it is important for employers to offer support following the loss of a pet.

The charity offers a Pet Loss Support service for those grieving a horse, pony, dog or small animal. This year Blue Cross’s Pet Loss Support (PLS) team is marking 30 years of helping owners through bereavement.

In 2023 PLS helped more than 20,000 people through the free and confidential helpline, email and webchat, which provides support 365 days a year, including Christmas Day.

“We’re a nation of pet lovers but we often struggle to talk about our emotions when it involves the loss of a beloved pet – even with family and friends,” said Diane James, Head of Pet Loss Support at Blue Cross. “It can be a distressing, confusing and lonely time.

“No-one should have to endure the pain of losing a pet alone and PLS is here to hold people’s hand when they need it most through all types of pet loss.”

The charity also supports employers which offer bereavement leave to employees following the loss of a pet.

“We’d urge employers to be considerate of the devastating impact the loss of a pet can have, and to consider have procedures in place to allow time for owners to come to terms with their loss,” added Diane.

If you need support, you can reach out to the team at Blue Cross Pet Loss Support at

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