Grieving owners should not struggle with the loss of a pet alone, but should contact the Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS).
The PBSS is run jointly by the Blue Cross and the Society for Companion Animal Studies and is a helpline for people who are struggling to cope with their loss.
Carole Adam contacted the PBSS after her Lurcher cross died following ten years of friendship. She said: "When she died it was a profound loss, every bit as bad as the death of my parents.
"Sadly, people around me couldn’t see the depth of the bond between us, so didn’t see her death as significant. As a consequence, I found it very difficult to say how I was feeling."
The PBSS helped Ms Adam to realise how much she missed her pet and after receiving this support, she is now a proud support line volunteer.
Every year, the PBSS receives over 6,000 phone calls and hundreds of emails.