Grief over the loss of a pet was investigated to clarify the usual course of symptoms experienced, gender differences in the experience, and the role of attachment to the pet. The sample included 174 adults who had lost a pet dog or cat to death. Participants were administered a modified CENSHARE Pet Attachment Survey (Holcomb, Williams, & Richards, 1985) and a survey of symptoms experienced. ... [Show full abstract] Results indicate that initially 85.7% of owners experienced at least one symptom of grief, but the occurrence decreased to 35.1% at six months and to 22.4% at one year. Males and females reported significantly different rates on six of 12 symptoms surveyed. The severity and length of symptoms is significantly correlated with the degree of attachment to the deceased pet. These findings indicate that pet loss can be a potential area of clinical concern, especially if the person's attachment to the pet was strong. According to Cowles (1985), the degree of attachment between owner and pet determines the psychological impact on the owner resulting from the death of a pet. People form emotional attachments with their pets, and these attachments are sometimes very special and different from the ones they form with people. Pets can be a source of unconditional love, support, comfort, safety, security, and stability. In circumstances in which a person feels either physically or psycho-logically removed from human attachments, these attributes of a relationship with a pet may be especially significant (Sharkin & Bahrick, 1990). For many complex reasons, the emotional attachments which many humans develop for their pets not only equals, but indeed frequently transcends the emotional attachment which they form with humans (Cowles, 1985).