Coping With The Death Of A Pet – Pets Are Family

When, owning a pet eventually we have to deal with the death of that pet. In 2017, I have had two of my senior dogs to die. This happened about two Coping with the death of a petmonths apart. Some people look at dogs as just  as pets but mine were part of the family.

When a pet dies it is hard on the person or family that loved them. You miss the little things they used to, or hearing them bark. These pets become a part of our daily lives.

The grieving process is different for everyone. It may last a day or up to years.

Give Yourself Time To Grieve

The grieving process can happen gradually. There is no timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in a few days, weeks, or months. For others, it could be years. It is important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to happen naturally.

Feeling sad, shocked, or lonely is a normal reaction to the loss of a beloved pet. These feelings do not mean you are weak it is natural during the grieving process. It just means that you are mourning the loss of an animal you loved.

For real healing, it is necessary for you to face your grief and deal with it. By expressing your grief, you will most likely need less time to heal. If you withhold your feelings or keep them in, it will slow down the healing process.

Feeling Guilty

Coping with the death of a pet Feeling guilty can also be part of the greiving process. There comes a time in some of our lives that we have to make a choice. We have to have the vet put our dog to sleep. Most people feel guilty about having to do this.

The vet will let you know if this is the right choice for your pet. You just have to realize that you are doing it out of love for your pet. No need to let your pet suffer if there is no way to fix the problem. I have had to make this decision more than once. It is a very hard decision to make.

My advice to you is: if you have to make this decision stay with your pet until the end. It may be very hard to do, but in the long run you will be glad you did.

Some Ways To Help With The Grieving Process

Do not let anyone tell you how to feel, and do not be hard on yourself for how you feel either. Your grief belongs to you, and no one else can tell you how long this process will take. Do not be embarrassed or feel like you are being judged about your feelings. It is okay to be angry, to cry or not to cry, to laugh, to find moments of joy. You will let go when you are ready.

It is also good if you have a friend or family member to reach out to. But if you do not; you can also ask your local vet if there is a support group in your area. If there is not a support group; there is also pet loss hot lines that you can call.

Here area couple of the Numbers. Pet Loss Support:1-(866) 266-8635 or (509) 335-5704; Pet Loss – Rainbow Bridge 877-GRIEF-10 or (877-474-3310).

Prepare a memorial, plant a tree in memory of your pet, compiling a photo album or scrapbook to celebrate the life of your pet. Remembering the fun and love you shared with your pet can help you to slowly move on.Coping with the death of a pet

Remember if you have other pets, they need you too. Some, surviving pets may also experience loss when a pet dies. They could also be stressed because they know you are sad. Maintain your daily routines with your pets; you could even increase exercise and play times. This will not only benefit your pets but it can also help you to get through this hard time.

When To Get A New Pet

Dealing with the death of a petI personally think this is up to the individual. A lot of experts say you should wait until you are finished greiving your lost pet. Some may wait months, years, or never get a new pet. Then there are others that need something to take care of.

For people who only had the one pet; miss having something to be responsible for and care for. If you feel like getting a new pet soon after the death of your pet; I do not see anything wrong with that. If getting a new pet will help you get through the greiving process, then do not let anyone discourage you from doing so.

In Conclusion

Losing a family pet it never easy. The longer you have them the more they become family. Grieving is a natural process and can take time. Try not to let others tell you how to grieve or how long to grieve. We are all different and process things differently. You will know when the process is over and if you are ready to get another pet.

Leave any questions or comments below.





14 thoughts on “Coping With The Death Of A Pet – Pets Are Family”

  1. Thanks for this article Paula,

    I’m going to send this to my dad who had to put his 10 yr old Chocolate lab(who he raised from a pup) down a couple weeks ago. He’s better now but had a really tough go of it for the first week or so.

    God bless, Brad

  2. Paula, this article really hits home for me. We had a little Chinese Pug named Gidget that we had to put down on Veterans Day five yrs ago. It really was a heart-wrenching situation for all of us. And that damn dog hated me…

  3. Paula,

    Great information on Coping with the death of a pet.

    Having gone through several pet deaths in my life time, None have been easy and it does NOT get easier each time.

    I recommend to all I meet, that have lost a pet and are not sure if they want another, is to volunteer at a pet adoption agency. It both helps with the grieving, to see so much joy and also help you decide what seems best for you. And your helping others and the pets.. bonus

  4. I will never forget when our dog got hit by a car and made it all the way home with broken ribs and serious cuts. We got him from an animal shelter and he could not have been no older than 3 or 4 months old. He was 4 years old when he got hit. It tore our entire family up. We never got another one after that. So yes it can be pretty traumatic when you lose a pet. They are just like one of you in the family in no time. Thanks for the support numbers a lot of people can use that.

  5. I too unfortunately lost two pets this year. My daughter’s cat fell into depression after she moved away and started college last year. The cat was very close to her and didn’t take it well. She was 14 years old and refused to eat.

    Our other pet was a Boxer. She had frequent visits to the vet over her lifetime, but unfortunately had cancerous masses on her skin. One couldn’t be fully removed because of the placement on her neck. We declined chemotherapy and tried to keep her comfortable. The seizures were awful. She survived another 5 months and then passed away. She was 8 years old.

    We are now currently down to one cat. I know he wants a friend to play with since being young and bored. Eventually this will happen.

  6. I’ve had many pets, therefore have lost many pets. It is always hard, and different for each one. Having a young animal die is very hard for me, as they missed out on so much. But losing an animal you have had for many, many years is hard in a different way.
    As a nurse who has been with many patients (a lot of them children) in their final days, I can say that putting a pet to sleep to end his suffering is one of the nicest things we can do. It is an act of love and a gift to a creature who would otherwise suffer.
    I lost my soul mate, Bear, almost 3 years ago, but I feel as if she is still with me. I look at her photo on my fridge every day (and yes, sometimes tear up). But I feel her presence with me, which hasn’t happened with other animals I’ve lost. At least, not in the same way. I don’t care why, and I don’t dwell on it, but I take comfort from her every day.
    My heart goes out to everyone who loses a dear friend, animal or human. And whatever helps you get through it is the right thing for you. I know many can’t think of getting a new furry addition to the family right away, but for me it is very helpful. Nothing can take away from the love I shared with the pet I lost, but a new creature in your life keeps you too busy to dwell on your sadness. And I feel my pet who passed away would want me to do what would reduce my sorrow, if he could understand it. Thanks for this post.

    1. I agree that people need to do what helps them to get through the sadness of their loss. You need to do what makes you feel comfortable. the Pet that has died is never replaced or forgotten. It is ok to move on and get a new pet if it helps.

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