'America's Veterinarian' to Share Experiences on How to Help Families Dealing with Pet Loss

Dr. Marty Becker, known as "America's Veterinarian" for his roles as an on-air consultant with "Good Morning America" and as a columnist for Parade magazine, will examine the human-animal bond and the role of death care professionals in assisting those who have suffered the loss of a pet at the second annual conference of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance, March 8-11 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference is being held in conjunction with the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association's Annual Convention & Exposition, and Becker will command the Convention's "main stage" in a presentation that will reach the hearts and minds of everyone involved in the death care profession.

In "You Have to Know the Heights of Love to Understand the Depths of Loss," Becker will offer a fascinating exploration of the human-pet connection and its profound effect within the lives of pet owners. Medical doctors, psychologists and veterinarians agree: People don't just want to have pets in our lives, they need pets. Study after study shows that pets have the power to heal; because of this, the loss of a pet can be especially traumatic. The "pet parent" loses a friend and a healer.

Having witnessed thousands of people deal with pet loss, Becker will offer his insights into how death care professionals—both those who work specifically in the area of pet loss and also those who operate traditional cemeteries and funeral homes—can offer a skilled, warm hand to pet owners to validate their loss and gently guide them along the rocky road of grief.

Becker is the resident veterinarian for "Good Morning America" and "The Dr. Oz Show." He is a regular contributor to Parade magazine and is the pet-care expert for the AARP. He has authored and co-authored numerous books, including "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul," "The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy" and The New York Times best-seller, "Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet?"

Complete program details and registration materials for the ICCFA/PLPA event will be available in November at www.iccfaconvention.com or by calling 1.800.645.7700.

Founded in 2009, the PLPA is dedicated to providing education and opportunities for professional growth for providers of pet-related death care services. It is a committee of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA).

Founded in 1887, the ICCFA is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral and memorialization profession. Its membership is composed of more than 7,500 cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories, pet loss providers, memorial designers and related businesses worldwide.


Hi Rob.
Nice article you have written, there are so many of us that can relate to the loss of our best friends. I am the project manager for Live Forever Monuments & Live Forever Pets, LLC.
Often when a human is cremated about 50-60% are scattered, burried or niched and then some are brought home in their urn. Almost all cremations of pets are brought home. With that in mind please note we have the vessel one may want to create a urn memorial display of their friend. You are on my facebook so please take a look at the LFM photo albums to get a better idea of what I am speaking of. Our pet photo shoot has not yet been posted, so use your imagination and picture the Urn in the display as a pet urn.
Please contact us for any additional information we may offer. The pet owner now has a vessel to create a memorial of magic for their pet.
Again great article.
Donna Meadows

Information on the subject of pet loss is vital to nudging our society out of its stance of withholding permission for people to grieve the passing of a beloved animal. Judged as "crazy" for feeling such a loss as deeply as one might a human's death, people often bury or deny their feelings or rush through their grieving process—to disastrous effect physically, emotionally and/or in relationships. Those powerful feelings have to find a way out somehow. Whereas few people would tell someone who'd lost a child, "Well, it's a good thing you can just fly over to China and get a new one," many would not hesitate to say, "It was just a dog. Stop your crying and go get another one at the pet shop."

Even veterinary professionals frequently lack the means of providing support for their clients who are in mourning. Presentations that instruct them in proper grief counseling methods will have endless positive effects. I thank Dr. Marty Becker for his efforts.

I am an animal chaplain who works with people to help them prepare for, copy with and move on after pet loss. I am also author of "Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss," which was written specifically to validate pet lover's feelings and provide them with the means to heal their hearts after such a profound loss. For more information, please visit my site at goodgriefpetloss dot com.