|Grief, whatever the intensity, over the loss of a pet is completely normal. Pets become significant and constant parts of our lives. They offer comfort and companionship, unconditional love and acceptance, as well as genuine happiness. No one should be surprised if they are devastated by the loss of such a relationship.|
The most important thing is how you feel. Don't let others dictate your feelings; not everyone understands a pet/owner relationship.
Some Stages of Grief:.
Remember, not everyone follows these basic stages of grief. Some people may skip or repeat a stage, while others may experience the stages in a different order.
What Can You Do?
1. Be honest about your feelings. Don't deny your pain, or succumb to anger and guilt. Only by examining and coming to terms with your feelings can you begin to work through them.
2. Find someone you can talk to and feel comfortable with who can empathize with your grief. Consistent interaction and sharing your feelings around people can be very beneficial. If you don't have family or friends who understand, or if you need more help, ask your veterinarian or humane association to recommend a pet loss counselor or support group.
3. Take care of your body. Your body has a strong connection with your mind, which feels the intense emotions of losing a pet.
4. Continue with the structural activities you did before the loss, with the exception of those you did with or for your pet. Structure will help your regain your bearings.
5. Perform a ritual when you feel the time is right. Funerals at a pet cemetery, memorials with friends and family, or making a small shrine for a brief time are some options.
6. After some time, consider getting another pet. Nothing can ever replace your pet, but another pet can become another companion to make you happy.
What Should I Tell My Children?
While you are the best judge of how much information your children can handle about death and the loss of their pet, here are some tips:
Will My Other Pets Grieve?
Pets are observant, and are bound to notice the absence of a companion. Pets often form strong attachments to one another, and the survivor of such a pair may seem to grieve for its companion. Cats and dogs can grieve for each other. Even pets that outwardly seem to barely get along can exhibit signs of stress when separated.
Signs: Restlessness, anxiety and depression. Other signs of grief may include sighing or sleep and eating disturbances. Sometimes pets will search for their missing companions and crave more attention from their owners.
As a result, you may need to give your surviving pets a lot of extra attention and love to help them through this period. Remember that if you are going to introduce a new pet, your surviving pets may not accept it right away, however; new bonds will grow in time. Meanwhile, the love of your surviving pets can be wonderfully healing for your own grief.
1. Keep the surviving pet(s) routines as normal as possible.
2. Try not to unintentionally reinforce the behavior changes.
4. Don't get a new pet just to help the grieving one unless you are ready.
Should the owner let the surviving animals see and smell their dead companion?
There is no evidence that doing so will help the surviving pet(s), though some people claim that it does. Usually, all it accomplishes is to make the owner feel better. Therefore, if the owner wants to have the surviving pets say their good-byes, then it should be permitted.