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Dealing with stress from the loss of a pet

A unique pet memorial
A unique pet memorial
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Dealing with the loss of a pet is stressful and heartbreaking for all concerned. An animal is a member of the family. Losing them can cause both emotional and physical pain. A pet becomes a part of your life. They're there to offer comfort on bad days and to play and give companionship on good days. The loss of an animal causes the same type of grief as the loss of a loved one.. A pet is a friend and the best kind of friend. They don't ask for anything but love and kindness. They give back much more in return.

Some people may think it's silly to grieve for an animal. It's wrong to deny anyone their feelings, especially feelings of grief, whether over a dog, cat or person.

Sometimes owners feel guilty after the loss of a pet. Did we pay enough attention? Should we have let them out to play the day they were hurt?

Don't blame yourself or others for the death of a beloved animal. Death is an unforeseen invent in most cases. No matter how this loss occurred, anger and accusations will not bring them back.

Some pet owners find themselves in denial or disbelief after their loss. They have a hard time absorbing the reality of the situation. In fact it may seem quite surreal.

Pet owners can go into a deep depression. They are lonely for the friendship their animal provided. This happens most of all to people who live alone, with only their pet as a companion.

People have a right to feel grief over the death of a pet. It's OK to express it by crying, screaming or whatever helps. Don't avoid the subject. Talk to a friend about your feelings.

Some people find it healing to write a song or poem about their loss. Try to reflect on the good times with your pet in your poetry. It doesn't have to win a prize, this is about dealing with feelings.

Owners are sometimes faced with the option of putting their pet to sleep. This is a heart wrenching experience. Try not to let the guilt of this decision cause further grief.

There's often a choice to be made about whether to stay with the animal when they are put to sleep. There is no right decision for all owners. Some simply cannot handle the additional trauma, while some need to know that it was a peaceful experience for their pet by being a first hand witness.

Perhaps the most difficult part of this scenario is deciding what to do with the remains. There are special cemeteries for beloved animals. There's also the option of cremation.

Don't be in a hurry to make a trip to the shelter after your loss. There is no replacement for your companion. Give time for everyone to grieve before adopting another furry friend.


Pet Loss

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed yahoo property.

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