Losing a Pet

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2 years ago

Many of us share with our animal friends an intense affection and connection. A pet is not, for us, "just a dog" or "just a cat," but rather a cherished member of our family, adding to our lives companionship, fun, and joy. A pet will bring structure to your day, keep you busy and social, help you resolve life's setbacks and difficulties, and even provide a sense of intent or significance. So, it's natural to feel racked with sorrow and loss when a loved pet dies.

The discomfort of loss may also feel unbearable and trigger all kinds of unpleasant and challenging feelings. While certain individuals do not understand the extent of feeling you have for your pet, you should never feel guilty or ashamed of an animal friend's grief.

Although we all react to loss differently, variables such as your age and personality, the age of your pet, and the circumstances of their death will also depend on the level of grief you feel. Generally speaking, the more important your dog was to you, the more intense you would feel the emotional pain.

It may also have an effect on the role that animals play in your life. If your pet was a working dog, service animal, or therapy animal, for example, you would not only grieve the loss of a friend, but also the loss of a coworker, the loss of your freedom, or the loss of emotional support. If you were living alone and the pet was your only friend, it would be much harder to come to terms with their absence. And if you were unable to afford costly medical care to extend your pet's life, you could also feel a deep sense of remorse.

While death is an inevitable part of owning a pet, there are healthy ways to deal with the pain, come to terms with your grief, and maybe even open your heart to another animal companion when the time is right.

The grieving process after the loss of a pet

Grieving is a highly personalized experience. Many people find sorrow after the death of a pet comes in phases, where they feel various emotions such as denial, rage, remorse, depression, and finally acceptance and resolution. Others find that their grief, coming in waves, or a sequence of peaks and lows, is more cyclical. At the beginning, the lows are likely to be deeper and longer and then become increasingly shorter and less frequent as time goes by. Nevertheless, even years after a loss, a sight, a sound, or a special anniversary will spark memories that trigger a deep sense of sorrow.

  • The process of mourning begins only gradually. It can't be pressured or hurried-and there is no "normal" grieving schedule. In weeks or months, some people start to feel better. For some, the period of mourning is calculated in years. Whatever your experience of grief, it is important to be gentle with yourself and allow the process to unfold naturally.

  • A natural reaction to a beloved pet's loss is to feel sad, surprised, or lonely. Exhibiting these emotions doesn't mean that you are vulnerable or that your feelings are misguided somehow. It just means that you mourn the loss of an animal that you loved, but you're not expected to feel ashamed of it.

  • In the long run, attempting to ignore or prevent the pain from surfacing would just make it worse. Facing your sorrow and consciously coping with it is important for true healing. You would definitely need less time to recover by sharing your sorrow than if you suppress or "bottle up" your emotions. Write about and chat about your emotions with people who are sympathetic to your loss.

Coping with the grief of pet loss

Sorrow and grief are common and natural death reactions. Like grief for our friends and loved ones, only with time will grief for our animal companions be dealt with, but there are safe ways to cope with the pain. Some suggestions are listed here:

  • Don't let anyone tell you how to feel, and don't let someone tell you how to feel. Your sorrow is your own, and no one else will tell you when it's time to "move on" or "get over it." Without guilt or judgement, let yourself feel whatever you feel. It's all right to be mad, to weep or not cry. Laughing, having moments of fun, and letting go when you're ready is all that, too.

  • Reach out to those who lost their dogs. Check online message boards, pet loss hotlines, and support groups for pet loss. For details, see the Resources section below. If there is no sympathy for pet death from your own friends and family members, find someone who is. Another person who has also endured the loss of a beloved pet may also better understand what you are going through.

  • Rituals can assist in healing. A funeral will allow you and the members of your family to share your feelings freely. Ignore people who think that having a funeral for a pet is wrong, and do what feels good for you.

  • Establish an inheritance. A legacy to commemorate the life of your animal companion can be created by preparing a memorial, planting a tree in memory of your pet, compiling a photo album or scrapbook, or otherwise sharing the memories you enjoyed with your pet. It will help you to finally move on by recalling the fun and love you shared with your pet.

  • Always look after yourself. The uncertainty of losing a pet will easily deplete your reserves of energy and emotion. It will help you get through this tough time by looking after your physical and emotional needs. Spend face to face time with people who care for you, eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, and regularly exercise to release endorphins and help improve your mood.

  • Try to maintain your daily routine if you have other dogs. When a pet dies, surviving pets may also feel sadness, or they can become upset by the grief. Not only can the surviving pets benefit from keeping their everyday activities, or even increasing exercise and play times, but it can also help improve your mood and outlook.

  • If you need it, seek professional assistance. Your doctor or a mental health professional will test you for depression if your sadness is persistent and interferes with your ability to work.

Tips for seniors grieving the death of a pet

We undergo a growing number of significant life changes as we age, including the loss of beloved friends, family members, and pets. A pet's death may affect retired seniors even harder than younger adults who may be able to rely on a near family's comfort or distract themselves from the work routine. Your pet was probably your only friend if you were an older adult living alone, and taking care of the animal gave you a sense of intent and self-worth.

  • Remain linked to colleagues. Pets, dogs in particular, can help seniors meet new people when out for a stroll or in the dog park, or frequently interact with friends and neighbors. It's crucial, after you've lost your pet, that you don't spend day after day alone. Try spending time every day with at least one person. Regular face-to-face contact can help you avoid depression and remain positive. For a lunch date, call up an old friend or neighbor or enter a club.

  • Boost with exercise your vitality. Pets help remain healthy and playful for many older adults, which can improve your immune system and increase your energy. After the loss of your pet, it's necessary to keep up your activity levels. Before beginning an exercise program, consult with your doctor and then find an activity that you enjoy. Exercising in a group will also allow you to interact with others by playing a sport like tennis or golf, or attending an exercise or swimming class.

  • Try to discover life's fresh purpose and joy. Previously, caring for a pet took up your time and improved your confidence and optimism. By volunteering, picking up a long-neglected hobby, taking a class, helping friends, rescue organisations, or homeless shelters look after their animals, or even having another pet when the time feels right, strive to fill the time.

Helping children grieve the loss of a pet

The loss of a pet may be the first death experience of your child and the first chance to teach them about dealing with the sadness and suffering that ultimately follows the pleasure of loving another living being. For any boy, losing a pet can be a traumatic experience. Many children very deeply enjoy their pets and some can not even recall a time in their lives when the pet wasn't around. A child can feel angry and blame himself for the pet's death, or you. A child may feel frightened that they may also be abandoned by other individuals or animals they love. How you approach the mourning process will decide if the event impacts the personal growth of your child positively or negatively.

Some parents feel like they should want to protect their kids from the pain of losing a pet by either not talking about the loss of the pet, or not being truthful about what happened. For example, pretending that the animal ran away, or' went to sleep,' will leave a child feeling much more confused, afraid, and betrayed when they eventually discover the truth. With kids, it's much better to be frank and give them the chance to grieve in their own way.

  • Let your child see you show your own sorrow for the pet's loss. If you don't experience the same sense of loss as your child, value their sadness without making them feel ashamed or guilty, and let them share their feelings freely. Children should feel proud that their animal friends have so much love and care deeply for them.

  • Reassure your child that they were not liable for the death of the pet. A pet's death will lift a lot of a child's questions and fears. You will need to reassure your child that you are not going to die, as are your parents. Talking about all their feelings and concerns is vital.

  • Involve your child in the process of grieving If you want to euthanize your pet, be frank with your kids. Explain why it is important to choose and allow the child the opportunity to spend some special time with the pet and say goodbye in their own way.

  • Give the child an opportunity to make a memento of the pet, if possible. This may be a special photograph or, for instance, a plaster cast of the paw print of the animal.

  • Enable the kid, if they wish, to be involved in any memorial service. Having a funeral or making a pet memorial will help your child publicly express their emotions and help process the loss.

  • Before they have a chance to grieve the loss they feel, do not rush out to get the child a "replacement pet". Your child can feel disloyal, or you might give the message that by purchasing a substitute, the sorrow and disappointment felt when something dies will simply be resolved.

Making the decision to put a pet to sleep.

One of the most important choices you'll ever have to make for your pet is choosing to put your animal friend to sleep. However, as a caring pet owner, the time may come when you need to help your pet make the transition from life to death in as painless and gentle a way as possible, with the help of your veterinarian.

Knowing when it’s time to put a pet to sleep

Euthanasia is a highly personal decision for a beloved pet and typically comes after a terminal disease diagnosis and with the understanding that the animal is suffering badly. The care and affection that you feel for the animal should inform your choices for your pet. Significant aspects to take into consideration include:

  • Level of Activity. Does your pet still enjoy things that were previously enjoyed, or are they able to be involved at all?

  • Response to love and care. Does your pet still engage in the normal ways and respond to love and care?

  • The sum of suffering and pain. Does your pet feel pain and suffering that overshadow any happiness and satisfaction in life?

  • Terminal or critical injury disorder. Is your pet been stopped from experiencing life by disease or injury? Does your animal face a certain death from injury or disease?

  • Sentiments from your family. Is the decision unanimous in your family? If you don't, and you still believe like it's the right thing for your pet, can you live with the choice you've got to make?

When you decide that it is in the best interest of your pet to end the pain, take your time to create a plan that is as peaceful for you, your pet, and your family as possible. In order to say farewell, or to visit the pet at the animal hospital, you may want to have a last day at home with the pet. During your pet's euthanasia, you may also opt to be there, or to say goodbye beforehand and sit in the veterinarian waiting room or at home. For each member of the family, this is an individual decision.

What to expect when putting your pet to sleep

Euthanasia for a pet is most commonly done by the injection of a death-inducing medicine, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. To calm your pet, the veterinarian can administer a tranquilizer first. Your pet would soon become unconscious after the injection of the euthanasia medicine. Death is painless and swift. Your pet may move its legs or breathe deeply many times after the medication is administered, but these are reflexes and don't mean that your pet is in pain or is suffering.

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Avatar for Bbb01
Written by
2 years ago


You article remember me my kitty!☹️ She always was with me when I was little❤️

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Sorry to hear that

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2 years ago

I have lost mine pet dog a long years ago. I was very sad. He was faithful and he was so full of energy. I don't want to have any other pet dog from that event, because I can't handle with that loss and emotion fall of that moments of say last goodbye to loved pet.

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2 years ago

So as of now. You didn't got any pets?

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2 years ago

No, I used to keep a turtle with red ears, she was so fun, my sister and I keep it, but we give them as present to another family. They grow a lot.

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2 years ago

Okay. How can big they can grow? Wanting to have some reptile pet too. But my wife doesn't agree

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2 years ago

Losing your pet is like losing a part of your body. Thanks for this tips. It can help people to cope up on losing their pets

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2 years ago

PTS. Its heart breaking. But right it's the right choice

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2 years ago

Yes. Making your pet suffer long is not good

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2 years ago