7 Tips for dealing with the loss of a pet

By: Health Local Staff Jan 24, 2014
7 Tips for dealing with the loss of a pet

A pet is like a member of the family and when they pass, it can take weeks or months to get over.

According to Pet Loss Canada, grief can be heavy when losing a pet. A pet is like a member of the family and when they pass, it can take weeks or months to get over. Many pet owners who have gone through the process of losing a beloved animal report inconsolable feelings and emotions. Some have even required counseling after facing the ordeal.

The experts at Pet Loss Canada have shared their advice and insight on how to deal with the death of a pet. Below are seven helpful tips.

1. Don’t keep it inside
Be honest with your children and family members. Rather than protecting the kids from the pain of pet loss, let them know what happened. You don’t have to provide all of the answers, but express your feelings honestly and allow them to express yours. Later in life, your children will thank you for revealing integrity.

2. Give yourself time, and lots of it
Some people get over the loss of a pet in days, while others take weeks or months. Give yourself time to get over the loss and realize that grieving is a process. According to experts there is a state of grief that is different for everyone. Don’t rush the time needed to get over your loss. Even if it takes a year to get through, at one point you will begin to feel better.

3. Go with your gut
There will be a lot of people offering advice at the time of your loss. Some may encourage you to get another pet right away or remind you that they are just a dog or cat. Pay attention to your inner voice and block out the negativity of others. Also, if your heart is telling you to get another pet, then do what you want to do. Listen to yourself, and not the negative voices of others.

4. Say Farewell Together
A family memorial service is a great way to say goodbye to your pet.  Allow your children to come together and pay their respects. Get everyone involved and encourage one another as a family.

5. Create a memory box or album
Put together a box of keepsakes that remind you of your beloved pet or fill albums up with photos of the happier times you had together. Some people find encouragement in buying a statue or mantelpiece that commemorates your pet.

6. Remove belongings slowly
There is no need to rush the removal of pet dishes, blankets, and beds unless you want to. Pet loss experts advise on not ridding belongings quickly, but rather taking time to pack them up slowly. During the packing process, it is important to focus on the happier times.

7. Don’t isolate or alienate others
While you may not feel like socializing after a pet loss, it is important to avoid isolation. Surround yourself with loved ones who understand what you are going through and those who loved your pet. Engage in conversations that reflect on happier times the family had together with their beloved animal.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.