Coping With the Loss of a Pet
You are normal to grieve the loss of a pet. Pet loss may be an even more difficult process than grieving for a human loved one. Your support network of understanding and caring people may be smaller. Friends, family, co-workers, etc., tend to be more sympathetic of a human loss of life. They may send cards, flowers, and offer food and companionship. This is often not the case when a pet dies.
The death of a pet friend is difficult enough to bear; and in some cases, the whereabouts or cause of death of the pet is unknown. In these situations, there is seldom any 'closure.' You don't know if the pet has died, is lost. As a result, when to stop searching and when to start the grieving process is blurred. Sometimes there may also be added guilt associated with this type of loss.
Doing something positive during this time of sadness can ease the grieving process by celebrating the life of the pet. Whether you've selected pet cremation, burial, or just want to work through the loss of your dog or cat, you have an advantage in creating a lasting tribute to your special friend.
Ways to Honor A Pet That Passed Away:
- Memorialize your pet with a personalized memorial to honor the memory.
- Place a portion of the pet's ashes or fur in cremation jewelry.
- Plant flowers or a tree in memory of the pet.
- Hold a funeral or memorial service.
- Create a memorial photo album or scrap book, framing a photograph.
- Make a charitable donation or volunteer at a local shelter.\n\t
Should you get another pet? The choice is a personal one. Some people may want to find a new pet immediately. Sometimes, they may have unrealistic expectations of the new pet, especially if they are getting a young, rambunctious animal after an older, mature one has died. Others need longer to work through their grief before they are physically and emotionally ready for another pet. In either case, you are not replacing your pet, but finding another companion to enjoy life with. Some people may find that it's just not possible to have another pet.