Pet Care

Coping with the Loss of a Pet

The bonds between pets and owners are very real and powerful. Our pets have an unconditional love for us, and they can easily help to make a bad day better simply by being there for us. That is why, when the time comes and we lose a pet, it can be such a difficult thing for us all to process and deal with. If you are looking to learn more about the power of the relationships that you have with your pet, then as hard as it will be to deal with, you will be in a better position to come out at the other end smiling. Here are some things that could help you.

Grieving the loss of a pet

Sometimes that grief that can be felt from losing a pet can be overwhelming. Pets do become like part of the family and in many cases, you see your pet much more than you see some family members, so it can hit you really hard. If you have children at home then it can be a situation that is even more difficult to deal with. Some steps that could help you to deal with the grief are:

  • Explaining the loss of the pet in a way that can be understood. Death is something that is a natural part of life, so being honest with them is something that is really important. Don’t create confusion by making something up that they later learn isn’t the truth. Pitch it at their level and it will make such a difference.
Like with any loss, you need to allow time to grieve. It can be something that is traumatic, so don’t put timelines on grief or how you should all be feeling, and if you need some extra help then make sure that you get it. 
  • Thinking of a way to celebrate your pet is something that is important and can help the grieving process. A ceremony or funeral for the pet to share the memories that you have of the pet, may help you and your family find closure. You could even think about getting something like cremation urns for our best friend, as a way to keep them with you and so you have a little bit of them with you at all times. Putting up photos of you and your pet around the house, and generally keep their memory alive.
  • You might be keen to get a new pet as soon as possible, especially if you had a pet like a dog to keep you company. This can be a good idea, but if you rush into it, it could leave you feeling down as they won’t be able to replace your pet as they come with a personality of their own. So get a new pet if you feel like you need one, but it is best to not rush into it after the loss of a previous pet.

Our pets are silent observers to the ups and downs of our lives. How often have you been able to cope with a difficult day because your pet was waiting at home? When we loose a pet we know that we now have to cope with the loss of a source of comfort at home.

Coping with the loss of a pet is sometimes harder than the loss of a human being. Owners often question themselves on issues such as ‘did they know how much I love them’ or ‘could I have done more for them?’

We must realise in the end pets like people know how we feel about them from our actions. So do not wait to tell your pet or loved one what they mean to you in eulogy – do it while they are active and alive. So when the time comes you and your family can cope, grieve and live with the happy memories they leave behind.

Is there anything else that you would like to add to the list? It would be great to hear what you think.

Cover Photo Credit : nicolas_svgnt

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