Coping with the loss of a pet, is challenging for those who have never owned a pet to understand the devastating effect it can have on the pet’s owner and family. For someone who has had years of love and affection from their pet, little things such as toys, bedding, bowls, and the like can be a reminder of the special relationship you shared.
There is no doubt that losing your pet companion is a devastating time and different people cope differently. Understanding the stages of grief will help you cope with the emotions of this time.
Stages of Grief On Losing Your Pet
There are five stages of the grieving process you will experience when coping with the loss of a pet:
- Denial. At first, you will experience feelings of disbelief. These feelings are caused by the shock of losing your long-term companion. Denial is your natural defence, having a numbing effect on the reality of the situation.
- Anger. The trauma that you feel may cause stress and anger. These emotions can lead you to blame others for your loss.
- Bargaining. You may start to question what you could have done to help your pet and prevent its death.
- Depression. You will have suffered a devastating loss. It is expected that you feel this way, and it will only be temporary.
- Acceptance. At this stage, you have come to terms with the death of your pet. You have accepted the fact that your everyday life needs to continue.
How To Cope With the Bereavement of Losing Your Pet
The grieving process time and you need to work your way through it actively. Eventually, you will reach a point when you can remember your pet and enjoy the memories of the wonderful times you shared. However, in the early stages, it is helpful to have a coping strategy:
- Talk. Speak about your pet with family and friends. You might want to consider joining a support group.
- Consider Pet Euthanasia. Rather than witnessing your pet suffer a draw-out passing, consider putting them to sleep peacefully and painlessly.
- Hold a Ceremony. Coming together with friends, family, and loved ones to celebrate your pet’s life can provide a lot of comfort.
- Take Things Easy. Give yourself time to grieve. Do not try to bottle-up or rush through the grieving process.
- Make Time For Others. Remember that others, particularly your children, will be grieving too, so make time for them.
- Make a Memorial. Having somewhere to go where you can remember your pet will help you in the long-term. Planting a tree or having an urn in the garden are a couple of common pet memorials.
- Seek Advice. Often grief can be ongoing. If you are suffering for a prolonged period, you may want to consider seeking professional help.
- Stay Healthy. It is essential that you look after yourself, eat correctly, and get plenty of rest. You will have gone through a highly emotional experience, and it can sap your energy.
- Get back to Normal. It may sound not very empathetic, but you need to try and move on as soon as you can. Getting back to your routine will help you, the people around you, and your other pets.
We hope that our help can aid you in coping with the loss of a pet.
Cloud9 Vets can give your pet the most compassionate and dignified farewell. Contact us today.