We all love our pets dearly and to many of us, they are another family member to cherish. For many of us, a pet is not just a dog or a cat, but rather a loving family member. Coping with the loss of a furry family member can be difficult, so here are a few ways to help you cope during a difficult time.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Unfortunately, not everyone understands the grieving process of losing a pet. Losing a pet can be very painful and can cause intense feelings. These feelings are completely normal and you are allowed to feel this way. While you may encounter others who have a hard time understanding the pain you feel, you should not downplay your feelings. Finding at least one person to talk to about the loss is extremely helpful. Whether you know a friend who has lost a pet or even contacting your veterinarian, talking to someone about your feelings can be extremely helpful. If you are having trouble finding a friend, the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement and the Pet Loss Grief Support websites offer chat rooms and online memorial services for those who recently lost a furry family member.
Engage in Rituals
When one passes, we often have funerals, ceremonies, or life celebrations to acknowledge those who have passed. This same idea can be used for when a pet passes. Many find comfort by holding a small ceremony or funeral for their pet. You could bury the pet in your backyard, have a moment of silence in a dog park, or hold a ceremony in a place special to you and your pet.
Memorialize Your Pet
Another helpful tip for coping with the loss of a pet is by having a living tribute in honor of them. For example, plant a tree or flowers in their honor. This can serve as a reminder for years to come. You can also consider compiling a photo album or scrapbook in dedicated of your pet. Find a way to celebrate the life of your pet as well as a legacy for you to remember the wonderful life they had.
Invest in a Noisemaker
If your house or apartment seems extremely quiet after the loss of a pet, consider buying a noisemaker help ease the transition. The silence in your home after their passing may cause more upset feelings, so a noise maker can help prevent a flood of emotion.
Losing a pet can be very difficult and it is completely normal to have intense feelings after their loss. Remember that you and your furry family member had a special bond and you gave them a wonderful life.
Lisa Landman is a strong advocate of adopting pets and has six rescue dogs! Want to see photos of her dogs? Check our her dog gallery or Twitter!