Its never easy to say goodbye to someone you love, especially a family member. The same is true & just as heartbreaking when its a beloved family pet & fur kid with whom you share a unique bond. If you are like many pet parents & owners you probably carry a mug shot of your pet in your wallet, celebrate their birthday or confide in your dog or cat. When asked if you have children you happily say “Yes, the four-legged furry kind”.
You see, pets are important members of the family and have the gift of giving us incredible joy, unconditional love & companionship. So, its only natural to feel a sense of lose or sadness when they are gone. It can be difficult to imagine our lives without our furry family member by our side wagging their tails & sitting at the door waiting for our arrival. Here are some tips to help you better cope with the loss.
1. Acknowledge that your pet’s death is a huge, sad event. Don’t downplay it, or shrug it off. Grieving a pets death is a process that can take months.
2. Accept that you may never totally get over your pet loss. You’ll always remember your pet.
3. Give yourself permission to grieve – it’s not “just a pet.” Coping with pet loss involves the whole grief process.
4. Experience and express feelings of sadness, anger, or guilt about the pet loss. Grieving a pet death involves tears, anger, and sometimes even fear.
5. Talk to others who can empathize – surround yourself with people who understand pet loss. Grieving a pet death is about getting support, like any grief process.
6. Talk to your friend and family about coping with pet loss. Grieving a pet death involves open communication.
7. Be patient. Give yourself time to grieve a pet death. The grief process takes as long as necessary.
8. Seek Support-Losing a pet is never easy, and you don’t have to go through it alone. Join a pet loss support group, especially if you feel depressed or extremely angry. Grieving a pet death may be easier with others who understand pet loss. The ASPCA has a Pet loss support & Bereavement group that can help you cope with the following:
- Assistance with the decision to euthanize.
- Comfort and support at the time of euthanasia.
- Help with grieving the loss.
- Advice on dealing with children, the elderly or disabled individuals who are facing a death of a companion animal.
- Helping the surviving animals in the household to cope.
- Assistance in establishing a relationship with a new pet.
So, remember to enjoy every moment with your beloved furry friend, spoil them, love them & never take them for-granted. For those who have lost a pet we are deeply sorry and hope that over time the fond memories of time spent will bring you smiles.