Mourning The Loss Of A Pet

Mourning The Loss Of A Pet

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We Have A Bond and Unconditional Love For Our Pets – Photo By Free-Photos Pixabay

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Decisions When To Say Goodbye

From the moment we add our pets to our family, we develop a strong bond and unconditional love for them. Whether from a pup, kitten, or a shelter or rescue animal they become part of our life and daily activities.

We hope we can enjoy their companionship, love, and loyalty for years to come, but sometimes they get sick or injured just like we do, and at times we have to find a way to say goodbye! If we are told that there is nothing that can be done, a decision needs to be made if we wait until they tell us it is time, or if we feel they are suffering, and to have them euthanized at that moment.

We had to make this decision with one of our cats, as we knew Gizmo was sick, and when we took her to the vet, we were told they thought she was riddled with cancer and that she was in a lot of pain and might last a couple of days, so we didn’t want her to suffer anymore and had her euthanized that night. We did what we thought was best for her.

We also have to decide if you want a communal cremation or a single cremation where you take them home with you. Do you want to be in with them during the procedure or wait in the exam room? This is up to each individual and how they want to deal with this loss. It is personal!

People Mourn For Their Animals In Different Ways – Photo By
Toimetaja tõlkebüroo Unsplash

People Mourn In Different Ways

People mourn for their animals in different ways, just as we do for people. We can feel deep sorrow, denial, anger, emptiness, and guilt.

You might have someone tell you it is just a pet and to get over it! We deal with death in different ways, there are no time frames for how long we should mourn, and they are not just pets to most people, you are losing a family member you loved.

Embracing the memories can help you live on. Getting a pet loss counselor might help.

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“I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time? The misery of keeping a dog is his dying so soon. But, to be sure, if he lived for fifty years and then died, what would become of me?”

 – Sir Walter Scott

How Other Pets Mourn The Loss

You might have other pets, that can sense a pet is gone, and they also mourn and get confused about what to do. Who will be the alpha?

They will pick up on your mood and grief, so try to make their daily routines as normal as possible, which will help create a better atmosphere for all of you. Exercise and play will be good for everyone in the family.

Be Honest With Young Kids About The Loss Of Your Pet – Photo By Alexas_Fotos Pixabay

Be Honest With Children

If you have young kids, you might lie to them and say the pet ran away, which can make them feel betrayed, and they could blame themselves or you for the pets’ death. The best thing to do is be honest and sit down with them, and assure them it was not their fault, that their beloved pet did not leave on their own, they were sick and are now in heaven and not suffering.

They might also have the fear of losing other people or pets they love. Assure them this most likely will not happen.

Having a funeral for the pet can also be a way for the family to say goodbye and grieve. Tell them it is ok to cry and feel sad, and we as adults should allow ourselves to cry.

By physically showing your grief it will help move you towards dealing with the loss of your pet. Don’t rush into getting another pet until everyone has gone through the grieving process.

A Pet May Be The Only Companion For The Elderly, So The Loss Could Be Even Harder – Photo By Mabel Amber Pixabay

The Loss Can Hit The Elderly Harder

A pet may be the only companion for the elderly, so the loss of their pet could hit them even harder, as taking care of their pet gave them a sense of purpose.

They should try and connect daily with a friend or family member to help them get through the grief, and move them in a positive direction. Exercise, joining a group or club, volunteering, helping at a rescue group, or finding a hobby can also help.

When ready they can bring a pet companion back into the home but should consider their own health in doing this, as they might not be able to take care of another pet.

Mourning The Loss Of A Pet – Photo By Canva

In Closing

Grieving is a part of life and different for everyone, and the decision to bring in a new pet after a loss of a pet is very personal, so it is best to wait until everyone is emotionally ready. Volunteering at a shelter or rescue can help in deciding when the time is right.

How have you dealt with the loss of a pet? How long did it take before you brought in a new family pet? How long did it take for your other animals to accept your new pet?

If you enjoyed this post and found it to be useful information, please share it with family and friends, and social media.

Here is another post you might enjoy – How To Keep Your Dog Happy And Healthy

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See you soon, Denise

Posts may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases and collect a small commission at no cost to you. This helps my blog to keep going. Thank you! For more info, read my disclosure policy.

14 thoughts on “Mourning The Loss Of A Pet

  1. Losing a pet is so difficult for the whole family. You make some good points especially with being honest with kids about a pet’s passing. Growing up, my mom never told us what happened to our animals– they went to live on a farm or ran away. She meant well but it didn’t give us closure. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Ana for your feedback! I remember when I was still living at home, my mom and I watched our cat have a heart attack right in front of us. It was awful! We buried him on their property and told my younger sister he ran away. Years later we told her the truth. Like you said family can mean well!

  2. I don’t have children, so I can’t imagine how a loss could affect a parent. But, I have lost a few of my great buddies, pals, friends, and whatever I called my dogs, and the pain is awful. Thanks for sharing this post, as it prepares me for when I get my next buddy next month.

    1. Thank you for your feedback Trent, yes, it is awful! Have fun with your soon-to-be buddy, may he or she bring you years of happiness and joy!

    1. Thank you for your comment Lisa! I believe animals are sensitive beings and are as emotional in mourning death as we are, whether it is for their owner or family member or another animal they are close to.

  3. It’s really difficult for other pets to recover this loss. And I love you saying to be honest with the children. Losing a pet is really painful. Great post with some valuable suggestions. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for your feedback Nilakshi! I am glad you liked the suggestions, as it makes it so much easier to tell the story when you have experienced it yourself, or have seen others go through it.

  5. Even though I never had a pet I was very attached with 2 pets of my relatives. I still miss them even though they have been long gone. Pets leave behind a hole which can never be filled.

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