How To Cope With The Loss Of A Pet

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Pets quickly become part of our family as soon as we welcome them into our home, which makes the fact that they don’t live as long as us very difficult to cope with.

If you’ve recently lost a pet, you may feel a void in your life and not know where to turn too next, but it is perfectly natural to be very upset and there is no reason to be ashamed of how you are feeling.

Follow these ways to cope with your loss, and find some comfort for yourself and others and start to move on.

The Grieving Process

People typically experience grief in stages or experience it as coming and going in waves. However it feels for you, it is difficult. As you go through the grieving process, it is important to remember these key things to hopefully make it a little bit easier:

  1. No two people experience grief in the same way – if you are experiencing it with your family, know that they may want to grieve in a different way than you.
  2. There is no “timeline” for grief – be patient with yourself and let the process take its time, naturally.
  3. It’s okay to feel sad and lonely – you lost a pet that you loved dearly, and showing your emotions does not make you weak.
  4. Don’t ignore it – this will only make it harder or worse for you in the long run! Expressing grief is the best way to accept it and let yourself move on.

Coping With Your Grief

Grief and sadness are normal reactions to any situation of losing someone. Losing a pet is no different. While it is hard, there are ways to cope that are healthy, and will give you a sense of direction in what is to come.

  1. Reach out to others who have gone through the same – friends, family, online groups, support groups, and more are available for you to connect with. Someone that has gone through the same might be the best person to help you through it.
  2. Feel all your emotions, and don’t let anyone tell you different – including yourself! If you feel you need to cry, be angry, laugh, or sob hysterically, it’s okay! Other people don’t know what you’re going through, so they don’t get to tell you when to “get over it” or “move on.”
  3. Do something to honor their life – planting a tree, holding a small service, making a donation, or even getting a tattoo dedicated to them is a way to memorialize them in a positive way and will help you feel better.
  4. Maintain your regular routine, especially with other pets – they also have experienced a loss. If you are upset they are likely to be upset, too. Keeping their routine regular including extra playtime and more exercise will increase their mentality and ultimately yours, too!
  5. Always seek professional help if necessary – if you feel helpless because your grief is not going away, seeking a counselor, therapist, or even seeing your doctor can evaluate you and recommend where to go from there.

How Do You Cope?

Tell us the ways that you have coped after losing a beloved pet. Did you do anything similar to what we recommended? We would love to hear your feedback, and also leave some extra advice for any grieving owners!

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