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Are You Struggling With the Loss of Your Pet?

by Shelley Wenger 2 months ago in therapy
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Here are some tips that may help you cope.

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Whether you have made the decision to put your pet to sleep or he or she died suddenly while sleeping, getting over the death of a pet is never easy. It doesn't even matter if you had him or her for five years or fifteen. You (and your family) need time to grieve.

Still struggling? Here are some tips that may help you cope with your loss.

Give yourself plenty of time. Grief isn't something that happens overnight. In fact, it can take months for some. It can also hit you like a ton of bricks once in a while, meaning that you may never get over your loss.

For this reason, you need to give yourself time to grieve and time to hurt. If it takes you longer than most, that is how you cope. There is nothing wrong with that. Take all the time that you need, in order to process your feelings.

Don't be afraid to show your emotions. You are going to be dealing with a lot of feelings, from anger to sadness. You may face feelings of depression and may be asking if you did the right thing (if you had to make the decision to put your pet to sleep).

Don't be afraid to talk about your feelings. You don't want to bottle them up, because this will only make it worse in the future.

Don't forget about your other pets. Just because you lost one of your pets doesn't mean that you can forget about your other ones. In fact, many of them may be grieving also!

You need to make sure that you spend plenty of time with them, giving them extra love and attention during this difficult time. They are going to need you as much as you need them while you are working your way through your grief!

Find a way to say goodbye. Unlike people, we don't hold a funeral or memorial services to help us say goodbye to those we love. However, if you think it would help, you may want to do something for your pet. Let your friends and family come over and spend a few hours remembering your beloved pet.

Don't forget to move on. Many people struggle to move on after their pet dies. They almost get stuck in their grief, which can be very detrimental to your life. You need to find a way to move on with your life. 

It may also help to talk to a professional. Many people have no problem seeing a therapist if they lose someone who is very dear to them. However, doing the same when their pet dies may seem a little silly. That being said, it is much better to talk to someone, so that you don't get stuck in your grief!

Photo Courtesy of Canva

When you lose your pet, it takes time to deal with your grief. However, you need to deal with it, or you may find yourself struggling years later! You are allowed to feel everything that you do, from anger and sadness to utter depression. 

That being said, you can't forget about your other pets. They are likely to be going through the stages of grief also. Make sure that you spend extra time with them, as they also find ways to move on without their best friend!

You may also want to spend some time with your family and friends thinking about your beloved pet. They may miss your pet as much as you do, so this may help all of you say goodbye.

You also shouldn't be afraid to get help if you need it. You might not think anything of seeing a therapist if someone you loved died, but you may not want to do the same when your pet dies. However, it may really help you find a way to move on, while still remembering your beloved pet.


Previously published on Medium.


About the author

Shelley Wenger

Small town country girl in southern Pennsylvania. Raising two boys on a small farm filled with horses, goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks, dogs, and a cat. Certified veterinary technician and writer at Virtually Shelley.

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  • Irene Mielke2 months ago

    Thanks for sharing about pet grief!

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