Having pets is one of the greatest joys in the world. They’re always there for you, ready to give you the snuggles and approval you need after a long day. Unfortunately, there comes a time in every pet parent’s life when they must know how to deal with a pet dying. When this time comes, it will not be easy, but there are some things you can do to help ease the pain a little and learn how to move on from pet loss.
- Be Honest With Yourself
No matter what anyone else tells you, this grieving period is about you and how you can best make it through. Your journey through losing a pet dog, cat, or any other pet is one that will not take a pre-destined path. This is the most important thing to remember as you are healing during this time. Just keep telling yourself, “I’m dealing with the loss of my pet. This is my path to grieve and nobody else’s.”
- Talk to People About It
As with many things in life, one of the best ways you can deal with the loss of a dog or any other pet is by talking to someone about it. There are many options available to help people who are experiencing grief due to the loss of a family pet. Family and trusted friends are great to just hang out with and reminisce about your pet and all of the great times you’ve had together. If family or friends aren’t options, there are other ways to find someone to speak with during this time. A number of support groups are available all over the country, while many organizations have hotlines to help with the loss of a pet and other issues.
Do Something to Honor Your Pet
While you and your family will never forget your pet, a good way to help grieve after a loss is to help memorialize your pet in some way. For many people, simply having a ceremony to say good-bye and remember their life helps ease the pain a little. You can do a host of other things to help honor the memory of your recently lost pet. Creative projects like a special scrapbook or photo album of favorite photos, getting a custom pet portrait created, writing a story, or journaling are other great ways to remember your lost pet and the life you shared.
- Help Your Children Through This Time
You may not be the only one hurting and trying to make their way through the grieving process after the loss of a family pet. If you are a family with smaller children, this is a good time to show them how to deal with a pet dying. Some of the activities that you can do to honor your pet make great family activities, as well. Explain to your kids that what they are feeling is normal, and it’s okay to miss their best friend and think about them.
- Act Normal for Your Other Pets
Besides children, other pets in the house may also feel sadness for the loss of their friend. Many animals have a way of sensing when we are sad, but carrying on a normal routine can help them through this trying time. It can also help to increase physical activity and play time to help them work off some of the distress that they may be feeling.
- Address Your Feelings of Guilt
When a pet passes away, it is very common for pet parents to feel that it is somehow their fault that this happened. This can be even worse in cases where the best option was euthanasia. This is a very normal way to feel regardless of the situation, but it is not a feeling that helps you move on. Know that you did everything you could for your pet and it is not your fault.
The important message to learn is that this is your time to grieve how you see fit. These common suggestions may help you, but there may be other things that you can do that will help you make it through this trying time in one piece and stronger. Do things that help you remember your pet and cherish the times you had together. For you, they may have only been a part of your life, but for them, you were their entire lives. Never forget that and never forget them.