I wanted to share my ten tips for dealing with the loss of a pet. Last week, my cat of 16 years passed and it was extremely hard to deal with. I was amazed and thankful that others told me they have been through the same thing and knew how I felt. I knew then, that this was a common problem.
Grieving the Loss of Your Pet
- It’s understandable that you will grieve and feel extremely sad. Give into the sorrow. It is cleansing.
- Share your feelings with others who understand.
- Perform a ritual for your beloved pet. Hold a dignified burial, at a pet cemetery or in your backyard, or have your pet cremated. Allow family members, especially children, to take part in the ceremony.
- Create something to remember your animal companion. Some suggestions are scrapbooks, a pet memorial stone, or a shadow box that includes photos and small items such as toys.
Coping with the Loss of Your Pet
- Don’t let others tell you that feeling sad and grieving is wrong. Your feelings are legitimate.
- Wait until you feel ready to get another animal companion. Each pet is unique. Another one won’t replace the one you lost.
- Take care of yourself. This highly emotional time can be taxing, so eat well and get extra rest.
- Try to spend time with others if you feel lonely or afraid, two common emotions.
- Don’t hide your heartache because you think you have to be strong for your family. Being vulnerable allows them to grieve.
- Make a donation to the facility that cared for your pet or to a nonprofit that focuses on pets such as the ASPCA. Doing good for others helps you feel good.
What are some ways that you have dealt with the loss of your pet?
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