Categorized | Care, Tips

8 Tips to Cope with the Loss of a Pet

Words can be comforting, but they can’t relieve the deep sense of loss that can accompany the death of a pet. Just as every pet is unique, each person’s experience with grief can be different too. However, these tips can help you get through this painful time.

1. Recognize your loss. Pets offer close companionship and precious unconditional love, which is why losing them can feel almost unbearable. Know that deep feelings of grief are natural and expected.

2. Let people know. Tell your family and friends about your loss so they can offer their support. Other pet parents can be a source of comfort, and if you have a pet insurance plan like ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, the company may have grief resources available.

3. Be understanding. Friends and family may not always say the right things. Remember that they usually mean well, but might not understand how you’re feeling, especially if they’ve never lost apet.

4. Care for yourself. You may not feel like eating or sleeping, but it’s important to take care of yourself while you grieve. Keep yourself busy and maintain your routine as much as possible.

5. Reach out. Don’t suffer alone. Open up to friends or family who have gone through similar experiences. Pet bereavement support groups or pet loss support hotlines can also be very helpful.

6. Express yourself. A healthy way to manage your feelings is to put them down on paper. You can write a letter to your pet, keep a daily journal of your emotions or express yourself in poetry.

7. Hold a memorial. A memorial can help bring closure and allow you to share your feelings with friends and family. You can hold a memorial at your home with a simple eulogy and memory book of photos.

8. Don’t rush to adopt a new pet. You may be tempted to fill your feelings of loss with a new pet, but it’s important to give yourself time to grieve first – for both yourself and the new pet.

Although you’ll never forget your pet, your pain should start to ease over time. If it doesn’t seem to get any better, you might want to seek out counseling services to help you through the grieving process.

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