By Summer Brooks, RVT
The dawning of a fresh New Year often motivates us to look around for new ways to be inspired. How can we add more value to the services we provide? How can we offer deeper and more meaningful support to the animals and pet guardians we serve? One way to find inspiration is to seek out continuing education and learn from experts in our field. Supporting pet caregivers through loss and grief is an important aspect of the end-of-life journey. It is also a topic that many of us would like more education and guidance in navigating. Here are a variety of pet loss training options for pet care professionals to help build your knowledge and confidence in the coming year.
~ Offers RACE-approved continuing education on topics such as Companioning Pet Families After Loss, Processing Loss, Guilt, and Accidental Death, and The Human Animal Bond: Natural Death.
~ Many hours of online lectures, taken at your own pace, registering for basic membership is free. VetVine is for veterinary professionals.
Two Hearts Pet Loss Center
~ Offering a Pet Loss and Grief Companioning Certification Course, with 15
hours of RACE-approved content, with online modules at your own pace.
~ This certification course discusses anticipatory grief, the tenets of pet loss companioning, and the central needs of mourning. This training also outlines how to run a pet loss support group, discusses the importance of self-care, and provides creative ideas for marketing your end-of-life, aftercare or pet loss services.
Pet Loss and Bereavement Support Advisor CPD
~ Providing 7 hours of CPD and RACE-approved continuing education for pet professionals.
~ Focusing on understanding the stages of grief and what’s needed to care for pet owners before, during, and after the death of a companion animal. It is made up of 3 modules and includes content supporting veterinarians and grief counselors.
University of Tennessee Knoxville
~ Providing 8 hours of online learning in Animal Related Bereavement- How to Support Broken Hearts.
~ From the UTK School of Veterinary Social Work, this course provides a strong academic foundation in understanding grief, mourning and bereavement. This training focuses on grief theories and frameworks, explores pioneering and current research on grief and loss, reflects on the grief experience in specific populations (such as children, adults, homeless, farming), and discusses how to provide social support. Can be taken as a stand-alone course, but is also a part of the UTK Veterinary Human Support Certificate Program.
~ A useful training program for veterinary teams on all areas of bereavement support.
~ The program consists of 3 components made of up of short modules detailing quality bereavement material. Dr. Suzen Gregersen of the CAETA team is one of the instructors. All CPD and RACE approved. This program has been used by various hospitals around the US to shape team responses to pet loss.
Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
~ Offering specialist training in Pet Loss and Grief through an 8-week structured course.
~ This is a well-rounded introductory course for anyone interested in helping people through pet loss. It reviews the human animal bond, outlines the models and types of grief, discusses spirituality in times of loss, and examines grief in special populations. Course participants are also introduced to the APLB’s online pet loss chat rooms during the training, and can go on to assist in the chat rooms after the course is completed.
Pet Loss Professionals Alliance
~ The PLPA has joined with the ICCFA to bring certification training to pet professionals.
~ Those completing the course will be designated as Certified Pet Loss Professionals (CPLP) and will be asked to maintain the credentials. This program is full of modern and progressive ways to support grieving pet caregivers. Completion includes attending live classes as part of the PLPA college.