Grieving Stages to Expect After Losing a Pet

losing a pet

It’s easy to underestimate the emotional pain of losing a pet.

What we forget is that pets become a part of our family, making it all the more important for them to be around. That being said, people don’t want to think about their pets dying, so they are often unprepared when that painful day comes.

If you’re currently grieving a pet or expecting to soon, read on to understand how you should move forward.

How to Move Forward When Losing a Pet

While there are a number of steps that you should follow after your pet dies, if you have time, you should do a few things before they pass away.

The first thing to do is to accept the fact that your pet will pass away before you. Consult with your veterinarian as your animal gets later into its lifespan, checking periodically on the quality of your pet’s life.

While it is difficult, sometimes it may be the best thing for your pet to end life early in order to avoid extreme pain and suffering. That being said, you can take steps to ensure that once your pet dies, you have a memory of their time with you.

Take Pictures, Say Goodbye

Make sure that you take enough time to say goodbye to your pet. This will help a lot with the grieving that comes later for you and your family. Also, make sure that you have some kind of memorabilia to remember them by.

Whether you press their paw print into clay or take a nice series of photos to distribute to loved ones, make sure that there’s enough around to make you appreciate the times you did have.

You should also have a plan for your animal’s remains. Click here for more information on that topic.

The hard part comes when it is time to grieve the loss of your animal. Here are some things that you should expect to do during that time.

1. Don’t Bottle Your Emotions

You will want to cry, you will want to bottle your emotions, and you will want to isolate. Allow yourself to let your feelings out to those who loved and knew your animal. The experience of grief is universal among people, including those who have lost an animal.

That means that it is totally normal and natural to cry and mourn the loss of your pet. People will understand and be there to lend a hand if you need anything. It’s not a sign of weakness to cry.

2. Don’t Allow Yourself to Linger on Your Pet’s Death

It’s extremely common for grief to last longer than it is welcome. A healthy amount of grief is natural and healthy for everyone in situations involving the loss of loved ones. That being said, once that natural time has passed, grief begins to do a disservice to the memory of the deceased.

At that point, the negative emotion is more about the person grieving than the deceased, and only serves to hold the mourner down. If you’re experiencing excessive grief, consider consulting with a therapist who may be able to work through the loss of your pet.

Find Healthy Outlets

Losing a pet can make you feel like you’re going out of your mind. In reality, it’s just like losing a family member. In many cases, people’s pets are closer to them than their family members.

In those situations it’s important to find healthy outlets. If you’re looking for interesting ways to spend the time, or just a looking to satisfy a curiosity, we’ve got everything you need.

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