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Pet Bereavement Counsellor Career Profile

Do you want to work as a Pet Bereavement Counsellor?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!

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UPDATED:

10 January 2024

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What is a Pet Bereavement Counsellor?

A Pet Bereavement Counselor is a professional who provides support and counseling to individuals who are grieving the loss of a pet. Losing a beloved animal companion can be a deeply emotional and challenging experience for many people, and a Pet Bereavement Counselor helps them navigate through the grief and cope with the emotional impact of losing a pet.

Doggy 1

Alternative Names

Alternative names for a pet bereavement counsellor may include:

  • Animal Loss Counsellor
  • Pet Grief Therapist
  • Companion Animal Bereavement Counsellor
  • Pet Loss Support Specialist
  • Animal Bereavement Therapist
  • Pet Mourning Counsellor
  • Pet Grief Support Counsellor
  • Animal Companion Grief Counsellor
  • Pet Loss Therapist
  • Companion Animal Grief Support Specialist

These terms are used interchangeably to describe professionals who specialise in helping individuals cope with the emotional challenges and grief associated with the loss of a beloved pet.

Career Categories

The pet bereavement counsellor career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Business

What does a Pet Bereavement Counsellor do?

Groups of animals a Pet Bereavement Counsellor works with

Critters List Icon OZT
Critters
Mammals List Icon OZT
Mammals
Birds List Icon OZT
Birds
Insects List Icon OZT
Insects
Arachnids List Icon OZT
Arachnids

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With whom does a Pet Bereavement Counsellor work?

A pet bereavement counsellor typically works with individuals or families who are grieving the loss of a pet. Clients may seek the services of a pet bereavement counsellor when they are experiencing emotional distress, sadness, or difficulty coping with the death of their animal companion. The counsellor provides support, understanding, and guidance to help clients navigate the grieving process.

Here are some individuals or groups with whom a pet bereavement counsellor may work:

Pet Owners:

Individuals who have lost a pet and are struggling with grief. Pet owners are facing the decision of euthanasia for their sick or ageing pets.

Families:

Families who share the loss of a family pet may need assistance in coping with the collective grief.

Children:

Children who are grieving the loss of a pet, as the bond between children and their pets can be especially strong.

Veterinary Professionals:

Veterinary staff who may be emotionally affected by the loss of patients may benefit from counselling support.

Animal Care Professionals:

Individuals working in animal-related fields, such as animal shelter staff or rescue workers, may experience grief over the loss of animals under their care.

Support Groups:

Pet bereavement counsellors may facilitate support groups where individuals with similar experiences come together to share and process their grief.

Animal-related Organisations:

Pet Bereavement Counsellors may collaborate with animal-related organisations to provide support and resources to individuals within their community.

The goal is to offer compassionate and specialised counselling to those who are mourning the loss of a pet, acknowledging the unique bond between humans and animals, and helping individuals navigate the grieving process in a healthy and supportive way.

What does a Pet Bereavement Counsellor focus on?

The counsellors are trained to understand the unique bond between individuals and their pets, acknowledging that the loss of a pet can be as significant as the loss of a human loved one. They may offer a variety of services, including individual or group counselling sessions, support groups, and resources to help clients cope with their grief.

What are the daily tasks of a Pet Bereavement Counsellor?

The daily tasks of a pet bereavement counsellor can vary based on their specific role and the settings in which they work. However, here are some common tasks that pet bereavement counsellors may engage in:

Client Counselling:

Conduct individual or group counselling sessions with clients who are grieving the loss of a pet. Provide a safe and supportive space for clients to express their emotions and share their experiences.

Assessment and Evaluation:

Assess the emotional state and needs of clients to determine appropriate counselling approaches.
Evaluate the impact of pet loss on clients’ overall well-being.

Grief Education:

Educate clients about the grieving process and help them understand the emotional challenges associated with pet loss. Provide information on coping strategies and self-care.

Decision Support:

Assist clients facing difficult decisions related to pet care, such as end-of-life decisions, euthanasia, and aftercare options.

Resource Provision:

Offer resources, reading materials, and information on pet loss support groups to help clients navigate their grief outside of counselling sessions.

Memorialization Support:

Provide guidance on creating meaningful memorials or rituals to honour and remember the deceased pet.

Collaboration with Professionals:

Collaborate with veterinarians, animal welfare organisations, and other professionals to enhance support services for grieving pet owners.

Documentation and Record Keeping:

Maintain accurate and confidential records of client interactions, progress, and any treatment plans.

Community Outreach:

Engage in community outreach to raise awareness about the importance of pet bereavement support. Offer workshops or seminars on coping with pet loss.

Continuing Education:

Stay informed about current research, literature, and best practices in pet bereavement counselling. Pursue ongoing professional development to enhance counselling skills.

Self-Care:

Engage in self-care practices to manage the emotional demands of supporting clients through pet loss grief. Seek supervision or consultation when needed.

These tasks collectively contribute to the Pet Bereavement Counselor’s role in helping individuals navigate the complex emotions associated with losing a beloved pet and providing them with the necessary support to cope and heal.

In which environment does a Pet Bereavement Counsellor work in?

What are the environment and places of employment like?

The working environment for a pet bereavement counsellor can vary depending on their specific role, the organisation they work for, and whether they are employed by themselves or within a larger entity. Here’s an overview of both indoor and outdoor aspects of their working environment:

Indoor Working Environment:

Private Practice Offices:

Many pet bereavement counsellors operate in private practice, working in offices where they conduct counselling sessions with clients.

Counselling Centres:

Some counsellors may work in counselling or therapy centres that focus on various mental health issues, including pet bereavement.

Hospitals and Veterinary Clinics:

Pet bereavement counsellors may collaborate with veterinary professionals and work in hospitals or veterinary clinics to provide on-site support to grieving pet owners.

Community Centres:

Counseling sessions may take place in community centers that offer support services for various life challenges, including pet loss.

Telehealth/Online Counselling:

With the rise of telehealth services, Pet Bereavement Counselors may also conduct sessions online, providing remote support to clients.

Outdoor Working Environment:

Community Outreach Events:

Pet Bereavement Counselors may engage in outdoor events, workshops, or seminars in the community to raise awareness about pet loss and provide information on grief support.

Animal Shelters and Rescues:

Some counselors may collaborate with animal shelters or rescue organizations, offering support to individuals and staff dealing with the loss of animals in their care.

Pet Memorial Services:

Pet Bereavement Counselors may participate in outdoor memorial events or services, providing support to individuals honoring their deceased pets.

Places of Employment:

Private Practice:

Many Pet Bereavement Counselors operate their own private practices, offering individual or group counseling sessions to clients.

Nonprofit Organizations:

Some counselors may work for nonprofit organizations dedicated to animal welfare, providing grief support services to pet owners.

Veterinary Clinics and Hospitals:

Pet Bereavement Counselors may be employed by veterinary clinics or hospitals to offer on-site counseling services to pet owners.

Counseling Centers:

Employment in counseling or therapy centers that specialize in various mental health issues, including pet bereavement.

Educational Institutions:

Some counselors may work in educational institutions that offer courses or workshops on pet loss and grief.

Online Platforms:

With the increasing popularity of online counseling, some Pet Bereavement Counselors may work for virtual counseling platforms or operate their services online.

Overall, the indoor working environment is typically associated with counseling sessions and administrative tasks, while the outdoor environment may involve community outreach, events, and collaborations with animal-related organizations. The nature of the job allows for flexibility in terms of where counseling services are provided.

What is the Average Annual Salary for a Pet Bereavement Counsellor?

Specific salary information for pet bereavement counsellors may be challenging to provide, as it depends on various factors such as experience, education, location, and the specific organisation or setting in which they work. Additionally, salaries can change over time, so it’s essential to consult recent data for the most accurate information.

These figures are approximate, and actual salaries may vary:

United States:

The average annual salary for counsellors, including those specialising in pet bereavement, can range from $40,000 to $60,000 or more, depending on factors such as experience and location.

Canada:

In Canada, the average annual salary for counsellors is in the range of CAD 50,000 to CAD 70,000 or more, again depending on factors like experience and location.

United Kingdom:

Counsellors in the UK may earn an average annual salary ranging from £25,000 to £40,000 or more.

India:

In India, salaries for counsellors, including those specialising in pet bereavement, can vary widely. On average, it may range from INR 3,00,000 to INR 8,00,000 or more per year.

Australia:

Counsellors in Australia may earn an average annual salary of between AUD 50,000 and AUD 70,000 or more.

New Zealand:

Salaries for counselors in New Zealand may range from NZD 50,000 to NZD 70,000 or more per year.

Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa:

Salary ranges in these African countries can vary significantly. In general, counselors may earn salaries ranging from NGN 1,000,000 to NGN 5,000,000 in Nigeria, KES 500,000 to KES 2,500,000 in Kenya, and ZAR 150,000 to ZAR 500,000 in South Africa.

South America, Europe, South East Asia:

Salaries in these regions can vary widely, depending on the specific country and economic conditions. In South America and Southeast Asia, average annual salaries for counsellors may range from $15,000 to $40,000 or more. In Europe, salaries can vary significantly between countries, with averages ranging from €30,000 to €60,000 or more.

Please note that these figures are approximate and based on general counselling roles.

Can a Pet Bereavement Counsellor be promoted?

Promotion levels for a pet bereavement counsellor may vary depending on the organization’s structure, but generally, they might progress through different levels based on factors like education, responsibilities, and certifications.

Here’s a generalised representation:

Entry-Level Pet Bereavement Counsellor

Education:

Bachelor’s degree in psychology, counselling, social work, or a related field. Completion of coursework or training in grief counselling and pet bereavement.

Responsibilities:

Conduct individual and group counselling sessions for clients grieving the loss of a pet.
Provide basic information and resources on coping strategies and grief support.
Assist with administrative tasks related to client records and scheduling.

Certification:

May hold basic certifications in counseling or grief support.

Mid-Level Pet Bereavement Counsellor

Education:

Master’s degree in counselling, psychology, social work, or a related field. Specialised training in pet bereavement counselling and grief support.

Responsibilities:

Conduct more advanced counselling sessions, addressing complex grief issues. Develop and facilitate support groups for pet owners. Engage in community outreach and education on pet loss. Collaborate with veterinary professionals and other organisations.

Certification:

Advanced certifications in grief counselling or pet bereavement counselling.

Senior Pet Bereavement Counsellor / Supervisor

Education:

Advanced degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in counselling, psychology, or a related field.
Continuous education in specialised areas of grief and bereavement.

Responsibilities:

Provide supervision and mentorship to junior counsellors. Lead and coordinate programmes or initiatives related to pet bereavement. Engage in research or contribute to publications in the field. Play a key role in shaping organisational policies and practices.

Certification:

Advanced certifications and recognition in the field, potentially board certification.

Director of Pet Bereavement Counselling Programme

Education:

Terminal degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) with significant expertise in counselling or psychology. Leadership and management training.

Responsibilities:

Oversee and manage the entire pet bereavement counselling programme.
Develop and implement strategic goals for the programme. Establish partnerships with other organisations and professionals in the field. Provide guidance on ethical standards and practices.

Certification:

Board certification and recognition as a leader in the field of pet bereavement counselling.

What difficulties does a Pet Bereavement Counsellor face?

Pet Bereavement Counsellors, like professionals in other counselling fields, may face various challenges in their profession. Some of these challenges include:

Emotional Challenges:

Dealing with the intense emotions of clients grieving the loss of a beloved pet can be emotionally demanding. Compassion fatigue and burnout may occur as counsellors repeatedly engage with clients experiencing grief.

Variability in Working Conditions:

Working conditions may vary, from private practice offices to collaborating with veterinary clinics or animal shelters. Adaptability to different environments and settings may be necessary.

Safety Concerns:

Safety concerns may arise when working with grieving pet owners and their animals. Counsellors may need to be aware of potential aggressive behaviour from distressed animals or navigate situations where pets are present during counselling sessions.

Unpredictable Work Hours:

Grief does not adhere to a 9-to-5 schedule, and counsellors may need to be available during the evenings or weekends to accommodate clients’ needs. On-call or emergency support may be required in some cases.

Business Management:

For those in private practice, managing a counselling business involves administrative tasks, marketing, and financial considerations. Balancing client care with the business side of counselling can be challenging.

Regulatory Compliance:

Staying compliant with licencing regulations and ethical standards is crucial. Pet bereavement counsellors need to be aware of and adhere to relevant laws and guidelines in their jurisdiction.

Continuing Education:

Keeping up with the latest research and developments in pet bereavement counselling requires ongoing education. Continuous learning is important for maintaining effectiveness and staying informed about new therapeutic approaches.

Interactions with Veterinary Professionals:

Collaborating with veterinarians and other animal care professionals may pose challenges in terms of communication and understanding each other’s roles and perspectives.

Client Diversity:

Clients may come from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and belief systems, requiring counsellors to be culturally competent and sensitive to individual differences.

Grieving Children:

Counselling children grieving the loss of a pet involves unique challenges, as they may have difficulty expressing their emotions or understanding the concept of death.

Limited Resources:

Resources specifically tailored for pet bereavement counselling may be limited, requiring counsellors to be creative in finding and adapting materials for their practice.

Advocacy and Public Perception:

Raising awareness about the importance of pet bereavement support and advocating for its recognition within the broader mental health field can be challenging.

Pet Bereavement Counsellors need a combination of counselling skills, empathy, and resilience to effectively navigate these challenges and provide meaningful support to clients grieving the loss of their pets. Regular supervision, self-care practices, and a commitment to ongoing professional development can contribute to their success in this specialised field.

​Future growth and Possibilities

Insights into general trends and factors that may influence the future of the industry:

Growing Awareness and Acceptance:

There has been an increasing recognition of the emotional impact of pet loss, leading to a growing demand for specialised support services, including pet bereavement counselling.

Integration with Veterinary Care:

Collaboration between counsellors and veterinary professionals is becoming more common, emphasising the importance of mental health support for pet owners during difficult decisions and end-of-life care.

Online counselling and telehealth:

The adoption of online counselling and telehealth services has expanded access to pet bereavement support, making it more convenient for individuals to seek help from the comfort of their homes.

Research and Publications:

The field of pet bereavement counseling is gaining attention in academic and research circles, resulting in increased publications and resources that contribute to the professionalization of the industry.

Professional Training Programmes:

As awareness grows, there is a potential for the development of specialized training programs and certifications in pet bereavement counseling, allowing professionals to acquire specific skills and credentials in the field.

Inclusion in Mainstream Mental Health Services:

Pet bereavement counseling may become more integrated into mainstream mental health services, with increased recognition of the importance of the human-animal bond.

Advocacy and Nonprofit Initiatives:

Nonprofit organizations and advocacy initiatives focused on animal welfare may contribute to the promotion of pet bereavement counseling services and resources.

Industry Associations and Standards:

The establishment of industry associations and the development of standards and guidelines for pet bereavement counselling could further contribute to the professionalism and growth of the field.

It’s essential to stay updated with industry developments, attend relevant conferences, and monitor changes in demand for pet bereavement counselling services to gain a more accurate understanding of job market trends. 

Availability of Jobs

Average

Which Skills do Pet Bereavement Counsellors need?

The skills required for a career as a Pet Bereavement Counsellor can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills
40%

Career Skills

  • Customer service
  • Handle instruments
  • Good overall health
  • Computer literate
  • Business knowledge
Career Skills
60%

Which Subjects must I have at School to help me prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Pet Bereavement Counsellor?

Minimum Requirements

A minimum educational requirement is typically a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as psychology, counselling, social work, or a closely related discipline. This provides a foundational understanding of human behaviour and mental health.

Study Focus

Subjects for Further Study:

Grief and Loss Studies:

Courses or workshops specifically focus on grief and loss, including the unique aspects of pet bereavement.

Animal-Assisted Therapy or Human-Animal Interaction:

Subjects that explore the human-animal bond, animal-assisted therapy, or the impact of animals on human well-being.

Counselling Skills and Techniques:

Further study in counselling techniques, active listening, and therapeutic approaches is needed to prepare for the counselling aspect of the role.

Ethics and Professional Standards:

Courses that delve into the ethical considerations and professional standards specific to counselling, especially in the context of pet bereavement.

Advanced Studies (If necessary):

Master’s Degree in Counselling or Related Field:

While a bachelor’s degree is often sufficient to start in the field, pursuing a master’s degree in counselling, clinical psychology, or a related field can provide more in-depth knowledge and enhance your qualifications.

Specialisation in Pet Bereavement:

Some universities or training institutions may offer advanced studies or certificate programmes specifically focused on pet bereavement counselling. Consider seeking such specialised programmes to deepen your expertise.

Optional Short Courses:

Animal Behaviour:

Short courses in animal behaviour can provide insights into understanding pets and their interactions with humans.

Crisis Intervention:

Courses in crisis intervention can be beneficial for dealing with acute grief situations.

Group Counselling:

Short courses focusing on group counselling dynamics and facilitation skills can be helpful if you plan to work with support groups for pet owners.

Communication Skills and Active Listening:

Enhancing communication skills and active listening through short courses can contribute to your effectiveness as a counsellor.

Study Duration

The duration of a college diploma is between 2 and 3 years. Time spent on a bachelor’s degree can be up to 4 years, and another 4 years for a doctorate. Short courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

FREE Career Path Plan

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Here’s a comprehensive career preparation path for a high school student aspiring to become a pet bereavement counsellor:

  1.  Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Attend career guidance sessions to gain insights into various career paths, including pet bereavement counselling. Explore the skills, qualifications, and experiences required for this field.

2.  Research All Possible Careers:

Conduct thorough research on the field of pet bereavement counselling and related careers. Learn about the responsibilities, qualifications, and potential opportunities in this niche.

3.  Explore Educational Paths:

Identify educational paths leading to pet bereavement counselling, such as psychology, counselling, social work, or related fields. Research universities or colleges that offer relevant programmes.

4.  Align High School Subjects:

Select high school subjects aligned with your chosen educational path. Focus on courses in psychology, biology, or other relevant disciplines that provide a strong foundation for further studies.

5.  Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Complete high school with a diploma or equivalent qualification. Maintain a strong academic record and participate in relevant extracurricular activities.

6.  Learn About Animals:

Gain knowledge about different types of animals, their behaviour, and the human-animal bond. Explore opportunities to work with or volunteer at animal shelters or clinics.

7.  Align Post-School Path:

Determine whether to enter the workforce directly after high school, pursue further studies, or consider starting a business. Evaluate the requirements for each path and make informed decisions.

8.  Gain Experience:

Gain practical experience through volunteering at animal shelters, pet care facilities, or counseling organizations. Seek internships and mentorship opportunities to understand the practical aspects of pet bereavement counseling.

9.  Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Engage in extracurricular activities related to animals, counseling, or community service. Activities such as joining a pet club, participating in counseling-related events, or volunteering at grief support organizations can be valuable.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Research and join professional associations related to counselling, grief support, or the human-animal bond. Membership in these organisations provides networking opportunities and access to resources.

11. Gain Specialised Skills:

Pursue additional courses or workshops to develop specialised skills in grief counselling, pet bereavement, and related areas. Acquire certifications or attend training programmes recognised in the field.

12. Network with Professionals:

Build a network of professionals by attending conferences, workshops, and events. Connect with individuals in the field of pet bereavement counselling to gain insights and guidance.

13. Enter the Job Market, Finish Tertiary Studies, or Launch a Business:

Decide whether to enter the job market, pursue tertiary studies in counselling or a related field, or consider launching a small business focused on pet bereavement counselling.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Stay informed about advancements in the field by regularly reading literature, attending conferences, and pursuing continuing education. Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning.

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Stepping-stone Careers

A career as a pet bereavement counsellor can offer valuable skills and experiences that may be transferable to various related fields. While it may not be a traditional stepping-stone career, the skills gained in counselling, empathy, and understanding of the human-animal bond can be applied in diverse settings.

Here are some potential career paths that individuals with a background in pet bereavement counselling may consider:

Training and Apprenticeship

There aren’t standardised on-the-job training or apprenticeship programmes specifically tailored for pet bereavement counsellors. However, individuals entering this career may pursue several avenues to gain practical experience and enhance their skills:

Internships or Volunteer Opportunities:

Seek internships or volunteer positions with organisations that provide pet bereavement or grief support services. This hands-on experience allows individuals to work directly with clients under the guidance of experienced counsellors.

Mentorship Programmes:

Connect with experienced pet bereavement counsellors or professionals in related fields who can serve as mentors. A mentorship programme can provide valuable insights, guidance, and opportunities for learning on the job.

Workshops and Continuing Education:

Attend workshops, seminars, and training sessions focused on pet bereavement counselling. Look for opportunities to learn from seasoned professionals and gain practical skills that can be applied in real-life counselling scenarios.

Networking with Veterinary Professionals:

Build relationships with veterinary professionals, animal shelters, or rescue organizations. Collaborating with these entities may provide opportunities for on-the-job training as you work alongside them in supporting pet owners.

Supervised Counseling Practice:

As part of your educational or training programme, seek supervised practice in counselling. This could involve working with a supervisor who specializes in grief counseling or related fields.

Participation in Support Groups:

Participate in or facilitate pet bereavement support groups. This experience allows you to observe and address the diverse needs of individuals grieving the loss of a pet.

Observation and Shadowing:

Shadow experienced Pet Bereavement Counselors to observe their interactions with clients, understand counseling techniques, and gain insights into the profession.

Client Case Studies:

Develop client case studies to document your experiences, challenges faced, and successful strategies employed. This can serve as a portfolio of your practical training.

While there may not be a formal apprenticeship structure, the key is to actively seek opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings. Practical experience, combined with continuous learning and supervision, is essential for developing the skills and competencies required in the field of Pet Bereavement Counseling.

Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

The requirements for licences, certificates, and legal registration for pet bereavement counsellors can vary based on the country, state, or province, and local regulations. The field of pet bereavement counselling is relatively specialised, and specific licensure or certification requirements may not be as standardised as in more traditional counselling professions. However, there are general considerations to keep in mind:

Educational Requirements:

A minimum educational requirement is typically a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as psychology, counselling, or social work. Many pet bereavement counsellors pursue advanced degrees (master’s or higher) for specialised training.

Counselling Licensure:

Depending on the jurisdiction, some pet bereavement counsellors may need to obtain a counselling licence. Licensure requirements vary widely, and some areas may not have specific licensure for pet bereavement counselling. However, a counselling licence in a related field (such as mental health counselling or social work) can be beneficial.

Certifications in Grief Counselling or Pet Bereavement:

Obtaining certifications in grief counselling or pet bereavement counselling from recognised organisations can enhance your credibility. Several institutions offer certifications specific to grief support and counselling.

Business Licencing:

If you plan to operate a private practice, you may need to obtain a business licence. This involves registering your counselling practice with local authorities.

Ethical Guidelines:

Adherence to ethical guidelines is essential. Pet bereavement counsellors should follow ethical principles and standards relevant to their profession, including maintaining client confidentiality and upholding the welfare of both clients and animals.

Continuing Education:

Some jurisdictions may require ongoing professional development or continuing education to maintain licensure or certification. Staying current with advancements in the field is important.

Insurance:

Consider obtaining professional liability insurance to protect yourself and your practice. This insurance is often a requirement when working in counseling professions.
Collaboration with

Veterinary Professionals:

Building relationships with veterinary professionals may involve understanding and adhering to any relevant regulations or guidelines within the veterinary field.

It’s crucial to research and understand the specific requirements in the region where you plan to practice. Contacting relevant licencing boards, professional associations, or regulatory bodies can provide accurate and up-to-date information. Additionally, joining professional organisations related to grief counselling or pet bereavement counselling may offer guidance on best practices and regulatory considerations.

Professional Associations

Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB):

American Counselling Association (ACA):

The ACA provides resources and support for counselling professionals, including those with a focus on grief and loss.

International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC):

While not specific to pet bereavement counselling, IAAHPC focuses on animal hospice and palliative care, addressing end-of-life issues in animals.

Pet Loss Professionals Alliance (PLPA):

PLPA is a division of the International Cemetery, Cremation, and Funeral Association (ICCFA), and it may provide resources for professionals involved in pet loss services.

The Delta Society (now Pet Partners):

Pet Partners focuses on the positive impact of animals on human health and well-being. While not specific to pet bereavement, it may provide insights into the broader field of human-animal interaction.

Where can I study further? (List of Registered Tertiary Institutions)

All of the above information will help you understand more about the career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with high school (grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies and where you will study.

See the list of universities, colleges, and online training academies that offer courses in pet bereavement.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in figuring out a path to prepare, as well as help you to gain further knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you FREE career development tools. There are almost a dozen free tools, but these are the three primary ones:

CAREER PATH PLAN

Use the career path plan above on this profile as an example to follow, or to work out your own path.

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 

SHORT COURSES

Access easy-to-use short courses to make your career preparation easier! The basic information in each course is free, but the rewards can only be unlocked as an OZT member!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 

STUDY GUIDE

Get a supercharged study guide that fits into the career path plan! Now that's really upping your preparation game! Join us for free to gain access!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Members Only

But, if you are still uncertain about choosing this specific career, and even where to start, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses (link below). They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while at and after school, and even how to start your own business.

OR

Join the OZT online community for special access to more tools!

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a Pet Bereavement Counsellor.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. Some career experience is necessary; otherwise, you won’t get the job!
  • Top-notch information on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
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