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Methods of Coping With the Loss of a Pet

loss of a petAnimals are as emotionally and physically connected to us as people. For some there is a bond which goes beyond simply owning a pet. They are a constant and loyal part of our lives and the pain of loss can be deeply felt.

Losing a dear pet who is a family member and friend can leave you empty, sad and in complete mourning for some time. This is why it is helpful to learn sensible methods of coping with the loss of a pet.

Expressing Your Grief

Feeling emotionally distraught, anger, guilt and despair are all normal ways of coping with your loss. The bond you built with your pet is something deep and irreplaceable. Many people feel very alone and depressed when they lose their best friend. The important thing to remember is you are validated in your sorrow. Just because your pet wasn’t a person doesn’t make your love any less important. More than likely your pet was an integral part of your family and life and now you have to live without that special comfort.

Some owners find it comforting to write down their feelings or thoughts. Others prefer support groups and talking to others who have lost a pet. No one can understand YOUR connection with your pet but there are many who have lost those they have loved and can offer you the empathy you will need to get through this time.

Guilt is one of the biggest affects of a pet who passes away. You may find yourself wondering if you could have done something to prevent the occurrence or have taken better care of your pet. The important thing to remember is guilt is simply a natural part of the grieving process. Death is never your fault and you know how much you loved your pet. Take it easy on yourself and remember your pet is resting peacefully.


replacementsIt is better to wait before immediately replacing your pet. You know there is NO replacement and you don’t want to begin comparing the next pet to your previous one. First you should go through the process of grieving.

Cry, scream, pound your fists and let go of all those emotions until you are ready for another animal. Once you make the decision to get a new pet, try and avoid getting a similar version of your previous pet. This will simply open all the old wounds as you compare one to the other. Instead, find a brand new individual ready for your love and affection.

Children and Loss

Children are especially sensitive to the death of their pet. They not only have to comprehend the concept of their pet being gone forever but also the mystery of death. This is a learning curve for your child and you will want to make sure you are there to support them through their grieving process as well. Children may require a funeral of sorts such as a backyard burial if you have property or perhaps a farewell of sorts. Helping your children know their pet is in a safe place and watching over them is a helpful way to get them through this time.

Finding sensible methods for coping with the loss of a pet will ensure you are adequately dealing with your emotions and trauma. There is nothing crazy about mourning your best friend and companion. You will need to go through this process and although it is painful in the beginning, you should eventually find solace knowing you had such a special bond. Nothing can replace those moments you and your pet shared and focusing positively on the good memories will help you get through the hard times.