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Coping with the Loss of a Pet

When the time comes and we need to say our final goodbyes to our beloved companion, it can become one of the hardest things we go through in life, after all our dog, cat, or other furry pet was and will remain a big part of the family.  As it is with losing a father, mother, husband, son, daughter, etc it takes a lot out of us both physically and mentally and it can become very exhausting thinking about all of the good times shared with them. Often times we resort to feeling guilty and ashamed that we could not have done more to prevent the loss.  Never beat yourself up over feeling these emotions, it is very natural to feel this way and it helps begin the process of grieving the loss of your pet.

There are many stages to grieving and there is no order to each stage. One can come before the other; you could experience a stage and come back to it later on throughout the process. Grieving is a personal experience on many levels and affects each individual differently, the different stages of grieving are denial, anger, guilt, depression, and eventually acceptance and resolution. Go through each stage at your own pace and never feel you need to rush through it in order to stop experiencing the feelings that come along with it.

Time is very important when grieving the loss of a pet and it cannot be rushed. Allow this time to remember your pet. It can take a few weeks, months, or even longer to begin feeling better and accepting the loss. Allow this time to heal and know things will become better as time goes on. Do not try to hide your feelings, loneliness, anxiety, and so on during this process of healing, it will only make things worse and harder for you to overcome. Allow the feelings to surface; doing this will make things easier on you.

When you are grieving, do not allow others to tell you how to feel or that you should move on and forget. Others may not have had the strong attachment that you did with your companion and no one will understand that bond except you. Allow yourself to feel whatever comes to mind and take each day one step at a time.

Take care of you! Try to keep to your daily routines and eat healthy, exercise the stress away, and look for support of others. Sitting home reminiscing might sound like the right thing to do, but it surely is not. Your beloved pet wouldn’t want that for you, he or she would want you outside, running and playing with your other pets or even a neighbors!

Adopting a new pet into the family always helps the healing process. It gives you time to devote attention to a new furry pet and pass on the love you once shared with your old pet. Before adopting a new furry family member, do give yourself some time to grieve before bringing home a new pet. Bringing home a new pet to soon may cause you to feel more guilt about trying to replace the lost pet.

Lastly, give yourself a lot of credit, you provided them with a warm, loving and caring home throughout their entire life and that is all any animal wants. You made sure they were able to feel love and that is how they are going to remember you. Allow time to heal your heart and soon enough you will fill it once again with a new pet that will love you just as much. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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