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Dealing with Pet Loss

Posted May 25th, 2015 by admin

Dealing with loss is difficult.  But when a pet dies, many people don’t understand that the pain is just as real and can last for days- just as it does when we lose a person who is close to us. However, many pet owners find that losing a pet, while met with sympathy by others, is not fully understood.  As a result, they may try to hide the hurt and pain they are experiencing.

Losing a pet, especially if after they have battled a disease of some type, can be very painful.  But, it is not something about which to be ashamed. Intense grief is normal and natural. The time you had with your pet, be it a few years or lifetime, was a time of companionship, unconditional love and acceptance, fun, laughter and joy. When your pet passes, feeling pain is to be expected. Don’t let others dictate how you can react, you aren’t alone and it’s okay to grieve.

Keep in mind that not every pet owner is going to react the same way to the loss of a pet. While you may feel grief, others –even within your family – may experience guilt, denial, anger or even depression. Each of these is a part of the grief cycle. The important thing is that you don’t try to ignore these feelings. Be honest and take your time coming to terms with them.  For many people, becoming members of a place such as Rainbow Bridge helps them cope with the loss. Rainbow Bridge is a site dedicated to helping those who have lost pets grieve, connect with other pet owners, and work through their loss in a safe environment.

Oftentimes, people find it helpful to get another pet, but for others this is too difficult. There is no right or wrong time to adopt another family member. For some people, adopting a new pet is calming and helps them move forward, for others it may feel like betrayal to the other pet. Do what works best for your situation.

There is no “one way” to deal with the loss of a pet, but here is a list of things that other pet owners have found helpful:

  • Consider planting a tree or shrub in memory of your pet or creating a scrapbook of your pet to help you remember the fun times.
  • If you didn’t already have one, consider having a funeral. This can serve as a time for you and your family to begin processing your grief. Ignore those who think a pet funeral is odd, and do what will help you and your family heal.
  • If you have other pets, try to maintain your normal routine. Surviving pets can also experience loss, or they can be distressed by your sorrow. Keeping their routines, as well as increasing their playtime will not only help the pets, but will often improve your outlook, too.
  •  Seek professional help if you need it. If your grief seems to tarry long and you find it difficult to function, talking to a mental health professional about depression can help you find your way.

Dealing with pet loss is not easy. But, you will make it. Take your time and work through your grief and eventually you will be able to look back with smiles at the good times. As long time pet owners, the team at SleepeasZz is well acquainted with pet loss, and we are here if you need to talk or have questions.

One Response to “Dealing with Pet Loss”

  1. Lobodelsur

    – Thanks for stopping by Doris. I’m happy to rpreot the little orange kitty is improving. He’s still small (under 2 lbs) but is gradually gaining weight and hasn’t been vomiting. The staff at the clinic has been taking great care of him. I remember when Hoppy was having his challenges. It’s amazing how resilient these little critters can be! Enjoy the cooler NC mountain weather! We’re firmly in the grip of the Florida summer heat and humidity.June 9, 2010 9:49 am

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