Our human lifespan is longer than that of any dog or cat. It means we’re almost destined to say goodbye to our fur kids at some point. How does one deal with the loss of a pet?
Knowing this fact from the outset may not be any consolation, but prior knowledge can help you to plan for it. And there are steps to take to help ease the burden of losing a pet (a little).
Read this article to find out what these steps are.
Losing a pet
Our fur kids are 100% important to us. Many pet parents see their cat or dog as part of the family, as do children. Which means that losing a pet is like losing a family member.
There are many reasons you might lose a pet from, illness to old-age or an accident. In some cases, our pets might be in severe pain and discomfort. If the situation is incurable and unbearable, we may opt for euthanasia.
In addition to the pain of mourning, this can lead to considerable guilt. It’s important to plan and psychologically prepare yourself for this potential reality. Read putting a pet to sleep to understand more about the emotional choices involved.
Steps to deal with the loss of a pet
In this section, we outline some basic steps to take to ease the emotional toll the loss of a pet can take. While it’s important to know there are things you can do, you will undoubtedly still feel the sadness.
Take from this the knowledge that sadness is an important step to recovery in a time of loss. Although feeling sad is painful, it’s a form of love that is valuable and meaningful and will come to pass for the most part.
Here are some steps you can take when dealing with the loss of a pet (in no particular order):
1. Hold a ceremony
Funerals and memorials are an important part of grieving because they give you a chance to share the loss with others. Hold a ceremony for your pet and invite people you’re close with. Or simply share it with your immediate family or members of your household.
In doing so you could hang a framed photo of your pet or plant a tree or flower in memory of your pet. Or maybe you simply have a relaxed schedule. If you invite anyone you don’t live with, be sure to have a from and to time, in case you get tired out and just need to wind down.
2. Talk about it
An important part of grieving is speaking about it. Grieving is a type of trauma, and and speaking about trauma can often help reduce it. The reason this can be hard is that trauma is an emotional and cognitive overload. Too great an occurrence happens in too short a time for you to process the meaning, but verbalising it can assist in processing it.
Talking helps you to make sense of things and also acknowledge what you’re feeling. Ideally, you can talk to a loved one or someone you’re close to.
3. Volunteer with animals
Volunteering at a shelter or fostering a pet is a great way to release pain. You’ll be open-heartedly giving to animals in need and this process can be uplifting.
In addition, supporting cats and dogs may prevent you from rushing into adopting a new pet before you’ve completed grieving the old one. It’s also an opportunity to develop relationships with other people who care about animal wellbeing.
If you can’t fit in time to volunteer, but still want to help, read about what to donate to shelters.
4. Crying helps you deal with the loss of a pet
Crying is amazing and even has health benefits. It’s not that you’ll suddenly stop feeling sad after you cry, but the emotional weight will certainly be lighter. Crying releases endorphins that help to ease emotional pain and produce a sense of calm.
Enjoy time with your furry friend to the fullest
You’re likely to have to one day say goodbye to your furry BFF. But never let that stand in the way of your love for them. Spend as much time playing, relaxing or training with them while you can to avoid regrets down the line.
Here are some suggestions for spending time and showing love to your pawsome friend:
- Puppy play. Top games for building basic skills
- Sleeping with your cat. Why it’s mutually beneficial
- Sleeping with your dog. Emotional and physical benefits
- Cat gifts. To make your feline purrrrfectly happy
- Dog winter jackets. To show you love them
Losing a pet is sad, but non-elective euthanasia can be a peaceful and loving thing to do for a terminally ill pet. Did you know all our pet insurance plans include cover for non-elective euthanasia? This means you can focus on your pet and doing right by them, rather than your pocket. Because we’ll help cover the costs.
How to deal with the loss of a pet – over to you
Do you have a story of losing a beloved pet you’d like to share with us? Perhaps post a photo of them on our Facebook page, to share the love of their memory.