Your pet has just died. Dog, cat, bird, hamster, ferret–the species doesn’t matter. What does is that your friend and companion is no longer with you and that your life is on much emptier place. Some people are more affected by the loss of a pet than others. For those who are intensely affected, here are some helpful ideas on how to handle the loss.
Involving yourself in activity, especially one you like, can really help. This is because any project you can do helps keep you focused on the world that exists outside of the emptiness you feel. Doing so will make your grief go away, but it will help you adjust your perception to the fact that water loss is a part of life, is not all there is.
It’s all right to cry as much as you want to and whenever you feel like it. If you don’t, you’ll just keep your self from being able to proceed on to the next stage of healing.
Think about about the other things that matter
Death does indeed touch many aspects of your life, but doesn’t change everything. Reflect on those things the loss hasn’t changed, such as the things you did and enjoyed without your pet.
Don’t dwell on the negative
This is especially true when it comes to the images you may have in your head about your pet’s last moments. Regardless of whether or not you witnessed them, you need to work on replacing them with more pleasant ones. If you believe in an afterlife, think about your pet as being whole and healthy in a happy new world. If you don’t, concentrate on the special things you did for your pet that made its time on earth worthwhile.
Avoid making decisions you can’t undo
If you can’t look at your pets toys without bursting into tears, don’t throw them away. Just put them out of sight for a while. You may want to have them later on as keepsakes or to create a memorial for your pet. Also, don’t rush out and get a new pet until you’ve had time to work through grief.
Count your blessings
No matter how bad you may feel, take time to remind yourself of all the good things you still have. You can make a list, either in your head or in written form. These won’t entirely make up for the loss, but they will remind you of what you do have.
At Austin Pet and Bird Clinic, we understand how difficult it is for people who are facing the impending death of a sick pet or who are going through the grieving process. Our veterinarians can give you the advice you need on how to best care for a terminally ill animal or on putting your pet to sleep. Don’t go through your loss alone: let us help you say goodbye to your pet with dignity and compassion.