It is never easy dealing with the loss of a family member. When that member is your pet, there are different emotions involved that you must deal with. It is essential to allow yourself and the other members of your family to grieve in their own way. While a standard piece of advice people are given is to keep busy, it can be more therapeutic to face grief head-on instead. Here are some effective ways to deal with the loss of your pet:
Talk about it
Talk to family and friends about what you are feeling. It is not healthy to keep your thoughts to yourself during this time. The grief that comes with losing a pet should not be taken lightly, and you should not feel any guilt about talking about it at length.
Address feelings of guilt
Most people’s pets do not pass away quietly in their sleep. You may have had to have them euthanized, and that might leave you feeling remorse and guilt. Instead of thinking of it as taking their life away, think of it as a way to spare them from the most painful part of death.
Consider having a ceremony
Doing so could help bring closure to your loss. A ceremony gives you and your family the chance to say a proper goodbye and celebrate your pet’s life. It can be gut-wrenching but also cathartic.
Help your children remember
Allow your children to talk about their sadness as much as they need to. Suggest that they make a clay paw print or draw a picture commemorating their pet. Doing something physical can be helpful for children to work through their pain.
Take your time
Everyone grieves differently. Do not set a timeline for yourself or your family for grieving. Allow everyone to deal with the loss in their own way and for as long as they need to. Grief is an individual process, and we all find comfort in different things.
Memorialize your pet
Find a meaningful way to honour your pet. You could make a donation to your local animal shelter, plant a tree, or install a plaque in your yard. There are also pet cemeteries where you could have your pet’s body or ashes lay to rest. Losing a pet is a tremendous loss, and you should not avoid dealing with it. Find constructive ways to help yourself and your family move forward. It can feel reassuring knowing that you have a place, like a cemetery, to visit your furry loved one.
Tie up loose ends
Consult with your vet if you have lingering questions or doubts about the death of your pet. Do not let yourself wonder for years about what happened. It will be easier to move forward once all of your questions and doubts are answered.
Contact the experienced veterinarians at Aquitaine Vet to learn about dealing with the end of your pet’s life. We can make sure your pet’s last days are as comfortable as possible and help you through this challenging time.