How  to Cope With Losing a Pet

How to Cope With Losing a Pet

If you’ve recently bid goodbye to a beloved pet, you might be wondering how to deal with losing a pet.

Losing a pet can cause distress to the owner, seniors, children, and other pets in the family. The cycle of pain, anger, and sadness can keep you from grieving your pet properly.

If you’re ready to face your feelings and find closure, then you’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading to learn more about how to cope with losing a dog and find peace in remembrance.

How To Cope With The Grief Of Losing A Pet?

The first step to coping with grief after losing a pet is to acknowledge your grief and allow yourself to feel sad.

It’s wise to remember that there’s no single answer to the question of how to cope with the death of a pet. Everyone has their way of feeling and expressing sadness.

The most important thing is to avoid comparing your grief to others or trying to subdue the feelings altogether. That’s where learning healthy coping strategies come into the picture.

Here are some useful strategies to help you cope with grief better:

  • Write what you’re feeling in a journal, poem, or short story.
  • Seek a pet loss support group or hotline (your vet or local animal shelter can direct you to one).
  • Create a memorial or hold a farewell ceremony for your pet.
  • Rely on daily routine and rituals to get through the day.
  • Find meaningful work or activities to occupy your time.

Some may prefer to go the route alone, while others may prefer to receive external support.

If you feel like you’re ready to seek the support of others, here are some places to try looking for it.

  • Pet-bereavement counseling services
  • Pet loss support hotlines
  • Local or online pet-bereavement groups

Those who prefer to find solace on their own can refer to books, videos, or magazine articles for tips and guidance.

If the loss becomes unbearable and finding support is difficult, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

“Talking with a bereavement or grief counselor that deals with pets is a plus,” says Catherine Salierno.

A licensed mental health professional can provide you with the support you’re missing to learn how to cope with the loss of a dog.

The Grieving Process

While the way individuals grieve differs, it often happens in stages.

It begins with feelings of denial that keep the person from facing and realizing their loss. The person may rely on feelings like anger, guilt, or disbelief when they’re in denial of the loss.

Gradually, when the person has expressed these feelings, they come to accept the loss and feel overwhelming sadness or grief.

If you’re asking how long does it take to cope with the loss of a pet, there’s no definite answer.

As Kevin Palmer puts it, “For everybody, there is a different time it takes to heal from that loss.”

Grieving and the time it takes differs for each individual. Some may get through the process smoothly, while others might go through a long cycle of denial and depression before finding closure.

Do you ever get over losing a pet?

One may only truly move past the experience of losing a pet after they accept and express their loss and grief. They start remembering their pets with healthier and more peaceful emotions.

Pet Loss For Children

Why is losing a pet so hard for children?

Children may find it harder to cope with the loss of a pet, since they do not have much experience with death. They probably also have no experience coping with loss.

At such a time, it may seem wise to save your children from the pain of losing a pet by telling them lies. However, it may cause more pain when they find out the truth.

You can instead ease them into the truth and help them cope by teaching them how to express their grief healthily.

Pet Loss For Seniors

Why is losing a pet so painful for seniors?

Seniors with pets, especially those living alone, might feel the loss even more deeply.

Pets can fill the void of loneliness for seniors living alone. A pet may also be the only consistent company for a senior and often their contact with the rest of the world.

Furthermore, seniors do not have the option to find solace in adopting a new pet. They may also lack the support of a family as they grieve.

While this can mean it’s even more difficult for seniors to cope with the loss of a pet, there’s still hope.

And it involves getting in touch with other people who can help them express their sadness. It may also prove beneficial for them to continue with their daily schedule to prevent giving in to depressive thoughts.

Pet Loss For Other Pets

Other pets in the house may also feel the loss of a friend. Additionally, they may sense your distress and feel even more stressed.

In such cases, it may help to keep routines normal for your other pets. Take them out, feed them, exercise them, and ensure their routine stays largely the same.

If your pet continues to show signs of distress for too long, make sure to take them for a checkup. You can also keep a closer eye on their health using a dog tongue color chart.

Getting Another Pet

It is tempting to get another pet to fill the void when learning how to deal with losing a pet—even more so if you’ve got grieving children in the family.

But it’s best to hold off on the idea until you’ve had enough time to mourn the loss of your pet.

“I knew I was going to get another dog before long, but I didn’t want to rush into it,” says Heather Costello.

Mourning can help you find peace in your pet’s memory. It also gives you the time to evaluate whether you’re truly ready to open your heart and support another pet.

Volunteering at a pet shelter or rescue organization is a good coping strategy that’ll also help in decision-making.

To Sum It Up

Losing a pet can be heartbreaking, but learning how to deal with losing a pet can help you take the first step toward finding closure.

We hope this guide helps ease your pain and find the support you are looking for to better cope with your loss.

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