The loss of a pet can disrupt an owner’s daily routine.
The experience of losing a beloved pet can have a strong effect in the life of the pet owner. The loss of an animal can be felt by everyone from children to grandparents, regardless of the age group. It can also bring feelings such as sadness, loneliness, changes in sleep, lack of appetite, and the general feeling of emptiness are just a few of the symptoms often described.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed by feelings. Psychologist Julie Axelrod has pointed out that the loss of a dog is so painful because owners aren’t just losing the pet. It could mean the loss of a source of unconditional love, a primary companion who provides security and comfort.
A 2002 article in the journal Society & Animals found that the death of a companion animal can be “just as devastating as the loss of a human significant other,” not quite as severe, “far more intense” or, well, just about the same. Some people may not understand what you are experiencing, but know you should never feel ashamed about grieving for an animal friend.
What can I do to help myself grieving the loss of a pet?
We know how much your pet means to you. Finding ways to cope with your loss can bring you closer to the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears. With that in mind, we crafted a few tips on how to deal with the loss of your beloved pet.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Allowing yourself to feel and cry is the first step to dealing with grief effectively. Only you know the love you had for your pet. Our losses are real, painful, and evoke a variety of feelings and memories. Differently from what other people may say, love is love and loving your pet is no different from the love you have for a person. There is no rush to get over it, and there is no hurrying grief. Some find it helpful to express their feelings and memories in poems, stories, or letters to the pet.
Take Care of Yourself
When going through the grieving process, we often tend to forget eating and drinking. It is important to care of your health just as we would for someone we love. Make daily reminders to drink enough water and to nourish your body with healthy food. Grief and sadness can lead the body to be susceptible to diseases such as the common cold, sore throats, and other infections.
The American Psychological Association has stated that the effects of the stress hormone cortisol, weakens the immune system, proving that state of mind affects one’s state of health. Therefore, make sure to keep simple, healthy and healing food at your house such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It will be good for the belly and good for your heart.
Times of loss and grief are when we need rituals most. Some strategies include preparing a ritual for your pet such as a memorial or photo collage. At Peaceful Pets, your pet’s remains are returned in a decorative container, along with a personalized, decorated, baked clay paw print. Our artists engrave your pet’s name and decorate it with a beautiful strand of beads. Framed inked nose and/or paw prints, adorable and popular mementos, are also available on watercolor paper, as are a wide variety of decorative clay paw prints, urns, and jewelry. Rituals can play a strong role in helping people cope with the grief they experience.
We at Peaceful Pets understand that losing a pet can be one of the hardest experiences of your life. Make sure to allow yourself to go through this process with the same kindness and love you would offer your best friend. Cherish the good memories you had with your pet and if you need reach for help talking with friends, family or grief counselors.