How to Help With A Loss of Pet?
Losing someone you love is never easy, and pets are no exception. Our cats and dogs quickly become members of our family – taking up a huge part of our hearts and our daily lives. We know they love us. Unfortunately, they tend to have much shorter lifespans than humans do, so almost everyone has or will experience the loss of their beloved furry friend at some point in their lives. When a person you love passes away, it is considered normal to grieve, experience sorrow, take time to heal, and receive comfort from friends and family members. However, sometimes this standard is not accepted as the norm for dealing with the passing of your pet. At Spot Pet Insurance, we know that your pet is not just an animal that can be replaced. They can become your best friend and provide immense emotional support and losing that can be extremely difficult. If you are experiencing the loss of a dog, cat, or other pet, we know no one can say or give any advice to make it easier. There are a few psychologist-proven tips to help with any grief, including that of your furry friend. Here are some more tips on how to cope up with a loss of pet
The Grieving Process After Losing a Pet
After your pet passes, you’ll likely experience a whirlwind of emotions. Whether you are having to euthanize your pet and have had sufficient time to prepare, or are experiencing a sudden, unexpected loss, it doesn’t make it easier. Due to how much comfort and joy pets bring into our lives on a daily basis, it is inevitable that this time of grief will be difficult. Each individual experiences grief differently, so there is no “one size fits all” process or method to this time period. Some people find that their grief comes in a variety of emotional stages, while some find the feelings come in waves. Your experience with grief after losing your furry friend is bound to vary based on your relationship and dependance on your pup as well as your personality and way of thinking, however there are a few universal truths to the grieving process.
The grief process typically will start with a stage of denial, in which you don’t fully process that your loved one is gone. This is completely normal and is the human brains’ way of protecting itself from the flood of emotions it knows it is about to experience. Many people also tend to feel angry, shocked, and confused immediately after losing a beloved pet, and all of these feelings are completely valid. It is important to allow yourself to feel all of these emotions now, as putting off or ignoring your pain will only make it worse.
After the first period of mixed and chaotic emotions calms down, normally the sadness will tend to set in. Your brain has begun to process what has happened and has realized your pet can no longer be present in your day-to-day life, and true grief will emerge. Again, this is completely normal and will not last forever. Burying this sadness will only make the healing period longer, so it is important to journal or talk about what emotions you’re experiencing with your friends or family.
How to Cope with the Grief
Although grief is inevitable and normal responses to death, and only truly gets better with time, however there are several tips and tricks to ease the pain you’re feeling. These methods will not make the pain go away altogether but are sure to help you focus on remembering the joyful memories you had with your pet and make the most out of an extremely sad situation.
Find a supportive community.
Surrounding yourself with a supportive and loving community is one of the most effective ways to ease the pain of a grieving period. It can be extremely healing to talk to others who have also lost pets in the past, as they understand how you’re feeling and will know the best words of encouragement to say. Your family can be a wonderful resource, as they likely knew and loved your pet just as much as you did if you live under the same roof. Sharing how you’re feeling about your loss can be quite comforting; it is important know others are feeling the same way and you are not alone. There are also several pet loss support groups on Facebook, in-person, and more, if you feel more comfortable going that route.
Do not let anyone tell you how to feel.
Like we said, nobody experiences grief in the same ways, so no one except yourself knows how you’re feeling and how you can best cope with your loss. Even if your family members all loved your dog or cat the same amount, you will all experience different levels and processes of grief. Be sure to remember that everything you are feeling is normal and valid, and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve the loss of your animal.
Take care of yourself.
Even when you are overwhelmed with the emotional rollercoaster of the grieving process, you need to make sure you’re continuing to take care of yourself. Self-care practices can help your mental state substantially, so be sure to take time to exercise, journal, meditate, pick up a new hobby, cook your favorite meal, or whatever makes you the happiest to continue to focus on giving yourself some self-love during this tough time.
Maintain a normal routine with your other pets.
If you have multiple pets, it is likely that your surviving pet is also experiencing a grief period of their own. Animals also understand loss, and they can often become upset or frightened when their best friend is no longer in their lives. It is important to maintain their daily routine and give them some extra treats and play time to make sure they are being assisted during their time of grief as well.
Seek professional help if needed.
There is no shame in seeking professional help to assist you in your grieving process, and it is by far the most effective way of dealing with these types of pain and loss. If you feel like you are struggling for extended periods of time, or that the loss of your furry friend is affecting your daily life, it could be a good idea to seek professional help from a therapist to find the best way to cope with your grief.
At Spot Pet Insurance, we want you and your pet to live the happiest and healthiest lives possible together. However, we know all parts of being a pet owner are not rainbows and butterflies – so we’re here to support you.
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