Grieving a Pet Loss

We understand about pet loss and having to say good-bye to your beloved pet is difficult.  After all, they are our family, and our friends.

Our pets’ are here for only a short time compared to us, and the loss of a pet often brings up many feelings…that are sometimes REALLY difficult to deal with.

Pet loss and grief

Sometimes you feel you are alone, and that no one else understands your loss.  And often times we run into others who just do not understand the connection we had with our pets. 

For people like us, whose are attached to their pets, the loss can be as devastating and traumatic as losing a human family member or friend.

The best way to grieve is to honor the animals memory.  You can do this in many ways.  A funeral service, sharing memories with family and friends, writing a poem, or a memorial tribute can help.

Receiving pet loss cards from friends, family or co-workers can help a person in their grief.  Just knowing that others are there for them during this difficult time makes them know they aren't alone in their grief.

Pet Loss tips right now to help you through this difficult time

  1. Grief
  2. This is such a normal and natural feeling. Getting the pet loss grief support you need is not silly or crazy.

    They understand the bond between human and animal. So don’t ever feel embarrassed for respecting the life of your animals. Don’t ever feel silly over grieving the loss of your companion.

  3. Common Feelings
  4. Guilt, denial, anger and depression are all very common feelings that you may experience when loosing your beloved family member. The loss of a pet is huge and when this happens you may feel responsible for your pet’s death or you may feel like you can’t accept the passing. Having these feelings are natural and are also part of going through grieving.

  5. What you can do about your feelings!
  6. We found at that not denying our feelings was the best.

    Crying, shouting or talking to a good friend all helps through this painful process.

    The most important thing is to do what helps you the most.

  7. How to get help!
  8. Pet loss counseling or a grief support group can be really helpful. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations, your local humane society or seek out a therapist that specializes in grief that loves animals.

    Being comfortable with the person or group is really important. You want to feel safe to talk with people about how much the pet meant to you and how much you miss them.

    Writing a letter to you pet and reading it to him can help too.

  9. Dealing with euthanasia
  10. A wonderful holistic veterinarian once told us “Your animal will tell you when the time is right.”

    Those words have helped us so much with the decision and have helped many of our clients when faced with this decision.

    Consider this.. your veterinarian is probably the best judge of your companion’s medical condition. And you of the daily life of your pet.

    Yet…if your animal is not eating, is in constant pain, unresponsive to your affection and unaware of its surroundings…your pet is showing you its time.

    We always ask our pets verbally...”Are you ready to pass on?” And we always get the right answer.

  11. Planning the euthanasia
  12. This can be one of the most healing experiences during a horrible time.

    Yet…it is up to you if you want to be present or not.

    The most important thing here is that you ask yourself honestly will you be able to be there for your pet.

    Your tears and being upset can make your pet nervous and uncomfortable.

  13. The next step
  14. When your pet dies the next decision to make is how to handle the remains.

    Your pet loss counseling person can help on many levels with this decision as can your pet loss grief support group.

    Here are some of our suggestions.

    You can leave your pet at the veterinarian’s office, choose a home burial and/or cremation.

    There are also pet cemeteries that offer a wonderful sense of respect and a permanent place for your family member.

One more thing to remember...If you have others pets in your household, don't forget to pay special attention to them, they too have suffered a loss.  Flower essences can help grieving animals with stress and depression.