Pet Grief

August 2, 2013

When you lose a beloved pet who was a part of your family—sometimes for many years—it’s natural to feel grief and sadness. The feelings that you have are perfectly normal, and you should know that everyone grieves in a different way when they lose a pet.

Advice on handling pet grief

When pets die, their owners feel a mix of emotions including: anger, sadness, and loneliness. All of these feelings will eventually help pet owners start to move past the initial stages of grief.

Here are some suggestions upon the loss of a pet:

Seek out a support group. The grief from losing a pet is felt by every pet owner; if desired, there are support groups whose members can help you deal with the loss of your pet and can share what they did during this time.

Have a memorial service. A service is the formal beginning of the healing process, and gives you and your children especially—the chance to remember your pet through loving memories and activities.

Consider pet pre-planning services. When a pet dies, it’s much easier to deal with your grief if you know that all of your wishes are already being taken care of by a pet-centered funeral provider. Pre-planning allows you to decide on your pet’s final resting area, if you would prefer burial or cremation, and what kind of monument or marker you’d prefer, among other items. You can also arrange financing ahead of time so that it’s not a burden when your pet dies.

Recognize your child’s grief. Children, even if very young, will know that a pet is no longer in your home. Talk to them about your pet’s death and reassure them that they were not responsible.  (Children can sometimes misunderstand why and how the pet died, and believe that they were a part of it.) Let your child know that their sadness and grief is natural. At our pet funeral home, you can remember your pet together so that they don’t feel alone during this time of good byes.  They also see other family members feeling the same way and sense that comfort.

Pet grief can linger for weeks, months—even years. You may find that while the pain of losing your companion has lessened, you still become emotional when seeing another animal similar to yours, when your pet’s birthday occurs, or when you remember that special occasion that your pet especially enjoyed.

Please call Peaceful Pastures today with any questions. We can help you decide on the most appropriate and thoughtful way to care for and remember your pet.