886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

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1(800) 924-0588

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Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Getting Through the Grief of Pet Loss

2015-06-14

griefIt's an unfortunate myth that losing a pet is insignificant compared to losing a person you love. People naturally grieve the loss of anyone they spend so much of their life with, whether human or animal. At a time like this, you don't need people who belittle your very real feelings of grief by saying that your dog, cat, or other pet was just an animal and you shouldn't feel so bad about it. Instead, make it a point to surround yourself with people who understand how much your pet meant to you and how sad you feel now that he or she is gone.

Tips to Cope with Your Loss

You had a unique relationship with your pet, so it's important to honor your feelings after his or her death. If you ignore your feelings, they are likely to come out later in inappropriate ways. Sometimes the intensity of emotions like sadness or anger can overwhelm people, but that's okay. Allow yourself to feel them anyway. Never judge yourself for the way you feel, especially once you have reached the point where memories make you laugh more than cry. This is a good indication that you have come to terms with the loss of your beloved animal companion.

Other people who have recently lost pets can be an enormous source of support for you at this time. The staff at Grantsburg Animal Hospital would be happy to make a recommendation if you find yourself struggling with your grief. The Internet also offers a wealth of resources if you prefer to seek support online rather than in person.

Rituals typically reserved for people, such as a funeral and burial, may help you come to terms with the finality of your pet's death. You may also find it comforting to create a legacy, such as a scrapbook, planting a tree in his or her honor, or donating time and money to pet-related causes. When you feel ready, you may even want to consider adopting a new pet to love.

Image credit:  Pojoslaw | Thinkstock.com

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