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How to Deal With Losing a Pet

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Pets are an important part of our lives. An estimated 70% of American households have at least one pet, and these animals bring us countless joy in our everyday lives. It’s common to hear people say that their pets have helped them get through a difficult time. Pets are companions that we hold near and dear to our hearts, so when we lose them, it’s understandably a devastating experience. 

Grieving for a pet is incredibly challenging, and the process looks different for everyone. If you recently lost your pet, Blue Lake Animal Hospital provides advice to help you through this difficult time. 

 

Acknowledge Your Grief

When a pet passes away, you may feel like something is missing. The companion that always greeted you at the door when you came home is no longer here. Unfortunately, it’s common to feel a lack of support after a pet’s death since others may not always understand your feelings. But a pet isn’t “just a dog” or “just a cat.” They provide unconditional love and support, add a routine to our lives and even give us a sense of meaning. 

Recognizing that feeling and accepting your grief is a very important step of the healing process. Allow yourself to feel whatever you are experiencing rather than telling yourself to get over it. By acknowledging your emotions, you are giving yourself the space needed to take a step back and cope with those feelings. 

 

Understand the Grieving Process

First and foremost, grieving is an individual experience. For some, the emotions come in waves, and others in peaks and valleys. Special dates may trigger feelings more strongly, and in general, the feelings may become less intense as time continues to pass. 

  • Grieving Often Happens Gradually. Grieving can’t be rushed. Most people spend weeks, months or even years grieving a pet. No matter how long it takes for you, allow the grieving process to happen naturally. 
  • It’s Normal to Feel Shocked, Sad and Lonely. Experiencing these emotions after losing a pet is a normal reaction. Don’t be ashamed for feeling upset. 
  • Pay Attention to Your Pain. Ignoring your grief will not make it go away. You must deal with it head-on by expressing your emotions and spending time with people who are supportive and sympathetic.  

 

Coping Tips

Grief of any kind can be tough to manage, and that’s included when you are sad over losing a pet. Below are a few tips for getting through this time: 

  • Let yourself express your grief. 
  • Reach out to friends and family for support. 
  • Write out your feelings through journaling, poetry or a short story.
  • Talk to a pet-support loss group or hotline. A veterinarian can refer you to one.  
  • Create a memorial for your pet. 

Everyone copes with grief differently, so don’t be afraid to try different methods to see what works for you. 

 

Visit a Veterinarian Today

If you’ve recently lost a pet, know that the way you’re feeling won’t continue indefinitely. Grieving is a long process, and our team at Blue Lake Animal Hospital understands how large of a burden it can place on you. Call our office today.

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