The death of a pet can be devastating and little things like coming home without that everyday greeting, and items such as beds, toys, and bowls are a reminder of the love you had for your special friend. How to cope with the loss of a pet includes allowing these feelings of sorrow and pain to come to the surface so that you can cope with your grief.
These are the five stages of grief that you may experience:
Denial: disbelieving is caused by the initial shock of your loss and this emotional numbing acts as defence from reality
Anger: a combination of emotions exhausts the stress and anger may develop into blaming others for the death
Bargaining: guilt often accompanies these feelings of what you could have done to have prevented the death
Depression: the reality of the death can cause a feeling of being really low and this is normal and won’t last, and is all part of the healing process
Acceptance: this simply means you’ve accepted the reality of the death and understand that life must go on
Grief is an active process and you need to find the time to work through your sorrow. There will come a time when you can remember your pet with all the love you had, but in the early days you should:
Talk to others about your pet. Find a support group or speak to your family and friends to help cope with your grief.
Face the possibility of euthanasia. Don’t struggle with feelings of guilt as you’re sparing your pet any further pain
Arrange a ceremony. You may find great comfort in getting together to remember your cherished pet
Pace yourself. Deal with your grief in your own time and don’t rush to get over your sadness
Remember your children. Give them opportunity to make remembrances for their special pet
Ask your vet questions. If you have any doubts talk to your vet to tie up any loose ends
Make a memorial. Cremation, memorial urns, planting trees or making a donation to your favourite animal charity are all suggestions to keep your pet’s memory alive
Seek professional help. If your grief is persistent and stops you from functioning normally get help from your doctor
Look after yourself. Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep and exercise to make sure your energy and emotional reserves are stocked up
Keep a normal routin. Whether this is with your family or other pets this is important as your sorrow will quickly distress others, and it’ll help you feel less sad
When you need to cope with the loss of a pet, or make sure the last days of your pet are as pain-free and comfortable as possible. Professionals from Home-Visit Vets will provide everything necessary. The focus on gentle pet euthanasia at home allows you to say goodbye in familiar and loving surroundings, and you can arrange aftercare for cremation and the return of the ashes.