Coping with the death of your pet

Coping with the death of your pet
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How to Look after Your Self, your family, and other pets when you have had to say goodbye

When a person you love dies, it is natural to feel regret, express despair, and expect family and friends to provide understanding and comfort.

Unfortunately, you do not always get this comprehension when a pet dies. Some people still do not understand how fundamental creatures can maintain people’s lifestyles, and some may not comprehend why you are thinking over”just a puppy .”

Members of the family

We understand how much pets mean for the majority of people. People love their pets and consider them members of their loved ones. Caregivers often celebrate their pets’ birthdays, confide in their animals and take pictures of them in their own pockets. So when a beloved pet dies, it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed with the intensity of your sorrow.

Animals offer companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love. If you know and accept that bond between humans and animals, you have already taken the first step toward coping with pet loss: knowing that it is okay to grieve when your pet dies.

Finding ways to cope with your loss can bring you closer to the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears.

The grief process

The grief process is as individual as the individual, lasting days for an individual, years for another. The process typically begins with denial, which offers protection until individuals can realize their loss.

Some caregivers may try bargaining with a higher power, themselves, or even their pet to restore life. Some feel anger, which might be aimed at anyone involved with the pet, including family, friends, and veterinarians. Caregivers can also feel guilty about what they did or did not do; they may feel it is inappropriate to allow them to be this upset.

After these feelings subside, caregivers can experience true sadness or despair. They might become withdrawn or depressed. Acceptance occurs when they accept the reality of the loss and remember their animal companion with decreasing sadness.

Coping with grief

While grief is a personal experience, you need not face your loss alone. Many types of support are available, including pet-bereavement counseling services, pet-loss support hotlines, local or online pet-bereavement groups, publications, videos, and magazine articles.

Here are a few suggestions to help you cope:

  • Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to express it.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to the others who can lend a knee. 
  • Do a little research online and you will find hundreds of resources and support groups which could possibly be helpful to you.
  • Write about your feelings, either in a journal or a poem, article, or short story.
  • Call your veterinarian or local humane society to see if they supply a pet-loss support team or hotline, or can refer you to one.

Children

The loss of a pet may be a child’s first encounter with death. The child may blame themselves, their parents, or the veterinarian for not saving the pet. And they might feel guilty, depressed, and frightened that others they love could be obtained out of them.

Attempting to protect your child by saying the pet ran away could cause your child to expect the pet’s return and feel betrayed after discovering the truth. Expressing your own grief may reassure your child that sadness is ok and help them work through their feelings.

Seniors

Coping with the loss of your pet can be particularly tough for seniors. People who live alone may feel a loss of purpose and an immense emptiness. A pet’s death may also trigger painful memories of other losses and remind caregivers of their own mortality. What is more, the decision to get another pet is complicated by the possibility that the pet may outlive the caregiver also that the decision to have another pet hinges upon the individual’s physical and financial ability to care for a pet.

For these reasons, it’s vital that senior pet owners take immediate actions to cope with their loss and regain a feeling of purpose.

If you’re a senior, try interacting with friends and family, calling a pet-loss support hotline, even volunteering at a community humane society.

Other pets

Surviving pets may whimper, refuse to eat or drink, and suffer lethargy, especially if they had a close relationship with the deceased pet. Even if they weren’t the very best of friends, the changing circumstances and your emotional state may distress them. (But, if your staying pets continue to act out of types, there might actually be a medical issue that needs your veterinarian’s attention.)

Give surviving pets lots of TLC and attempt to keep up the standard routine. It is very good for them and also for you personally.

Getting another pet

Rushing into this decision isn’t fair for you or your new pet. Each animal has their own unique character and a new animal can’t replace the one that you lost. You’ll know when the timing is appropriate to adopt a new pet after giving yourself time to grieve, contemplating whether you are prepared, and paying close attention to your feelings.

 

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