It’s so hard to lose a pet. These loses can be because of death, a runaway animal or simply having to give up your beloved animal for reasons out of your control. With the recent of my pet, I can only describe as ‘it sucks.’ That basically sums it up. It’s especially hard when their memory still remain around your home. I remember crying after my cat died because I saw fur stuck to curtains. There are some ways to help you deal with the grief that comes with losing such an important part of your life. Nothing will fix this tragedy, but there are ways to cope.
There are five stages of grief and everyone experiences them differently: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. It’s possible to experience all of these stages, or just a few. It’s also likely that waves of these stages will come and go unexpectedly.
To deal with your loss start by understanding you are not overly-emotional to be distraught about the loss of an animal. Some people may not understand, and therefore act is if you are over-reacting. You’re not, and it’s totally valid for you to feel sad, depressed, angry, etc over this loss.
It’s important to be open about the way you’re feeling and find someone you can talk to about it. It’s especially helpful to find someone that will validate and be sensitive to everything you’re feeling. Be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling as well. Try to understand and work through them, as that’s the only way to get over such profound sadness. If that means crying, yelling, punching a pillow then so be it. Don’t forget to always remember the good times with your pet and all the love you two exchanged.
If you had to put down your pet; know that you did the best you could. It’s so tough to make such an important decision, but rely on your vet, and the bond you have with your dog, to know what to do. When animals stop being active, experience pain and have to undergo stressful treatments, it’s probably the right decision. You gave your little friend all you could and that’s all they could ever want.
After the death of an animal, decide what the next step will be. It may be the best decision for you to have your vet bury your pet. You may find that you would rather bury him/her yourself or have a cremation and keep the ashes. It’s possible to have a pet buried in a pet cemetery where it is peaceful and a great resting place.
The other pets living in your home will feel a definite loss. They make act depressed or simply differently. Try to keep their routines normal and as active as possible. They may need some extra attention. It’s also very healing to have your remaining pet by your side.
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time before getting a new pet. Any new animal will not be able to replace the loss of another. A new pet will be just that, new, full of differences that should be appreciated and not compared. When you are ready to form a new relationship without looking back is the time when a new pet is a great choice.
It’s never easy dealing with loss on any scale. It’s open to be open and honest, with yourself and others, and deal with what you’re feeling. If it helps, make a memorial in your home in remembrance of your loss. Even if it’s just a picture on the fridge, seeing that little face will help loads. And if it doesn’t, find a different way to remember 🙂