For many people, pets are more than animals – they’re family members. The dead of humans is often mourned, and the grief understood, but when a pet dies people don’t always understand the grief. It’s perfectly normal and healthy to grieve the loss of a beloved family pet. After all, they live for years with the family and become more than just an animal. Read on for some ways to cope after a pet’s death.
Children will need more help than adults with grieving an animal. Since they may not have ever experienced death before, it’s very important to show them that grief is ok and that expressing feelings is natural. They may feel angry at the vet for not saving their pet or at the pet itself for dying. Talking to children and allowing them an outlet for their feelings, such as drawing or talking, is a great way to help them cope.
For many adults, the death of an animal can be a catalyst to going out and getting a new pet, but this isn’t healthy. It’s best to take time to think about the lost pet and remember the good times that were spent together. Buying a new animal right away isn’t fair to the old pet’s memory or to the new pet. Reading books about loss, talking with friends, and calling a pet loss support number are all good ways to work through your emotions. There are groups who will talk to you about your animal and help you grieve in a healthy way. Take advantage of them and call for support.
Any other animals in the house will mourn the loss of a pet as well. It’s important to show them extra love, keep your routine normal, and not scare them with bringing home a new animal. It can be easy to overlook the grief of your other animals while you yourself are grieving, but it’s important to help your other pets cope as well.
Losing an animal is difficult, and coping with it in a healthy manner is important. Make sure to take care of yourself emotionally. Enjoy time with your friends, volunteer at a local shelter, and try to stay busy. Looking at pictures and celebrating the life of your pet is a great thing as well. Some people like to have services for the pet where they and other family members can talk and reminisce about the pet.
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