For anyone who’s lost a beloved dog — or any other animal for that matter — we extend our deepest sympathies. Of course, the death of a pet is one of the hardest things for you and your family to have to go through. There’s no easy way to deal with this loss, and everyone processes and deals with things very differently. But, hopefully, in this short guide, we can help to give you some helpful tips and ideas on how to deal with the loss of your dog a little easier.
Read on to find out more.
Dealing with grief
As mentioned, everyone deals with grief in their own ways. It is important to remember that although some of us may be visibly hurt and outwardly grieving, others may take longer to process things and not show their emotions as much. Either is fine, and you should never expect anyone to grieve or feel any certain way. It is also worth noting that different people have extremely different relationships with their pets. To you, your pet may have been far more than just a pet. He or she may have been your best friend or assistance dog, meaning you’re far more invested than others would be in their loss. It’s best to find someone who understands your position and talk with them. Someone who can understand, support, and listen when you need to deal with your grief over the loss of your dog.
Memorials and keepsakes
There are plenty of ways to memorialize your pets after their death, should you wish to. Gary Short, a pet urn specialist designer from Green Meadow Memorials, said, “Many find closure in memorializing their pets with urns, photographs, or other keepsakes. It also means you can keep part of your pet forever, which can be extremely comforting.” We agree and know many friends and loved ones who have kept pet ashes in an urn or held a memorial service for their pet. Both can be fantastic ways to honor your pet’s contribution to your life. Another lovely memorial idea is to plant a tree or other plant in one of your dog’s favorite spots. This way, something can live on in his favorite corner forever, always reminding you of your best friend.
Other family members
If you live with other family members, it can be hard to deal with the grief altogether. Whether before, during, or after any memorial planning, it’s important to try and get through this as a family unit. In the case of kids, this can be extremely hard. For many children, the loss of a pet is their first life experience of loss or death, and therefore a huge moment for your family. Explaining the loss of your dog, teaching them it’s OK to grieve, and allowing yourself to also be sad in front of them are all important things to consider. Make sure you all allow yourselves time and space to grieve whilst supporting one another whenever needed. These are the moments where families come together and become stronger.
There are plenty of support groups for the loss of your dog. As we have said, it’s not always easy to find someone who understands why you are so at a loss about the death of a beloved pet. If your friends and family aren’t quite with you, or maybe you don’t have many close family members around, reach out to a support group. Quite often, a great place to start is on social media or online forums. Here you will find like-minded people happy to listen to you and talk with you about your loss. If you need a more personal approach, use these platforms to find local loss groups and have some heart-to-heart chats in person.
A new pet?
Many people rush into getting a new pet to replace the lost love and ease the grieving process. This is usually not recommended, as you can often try to fill a void with another animal who won’t be the same. Every dog has a unique personality and traits, so replacing them with a new animal won’t feel the same. It is not fair to you, your old pet, or your new pet to try and do this. When the time comes, and you are ready, by all means, get a new lovely dog in your life. But, take your time.
Coping with the loss of your dog
We hope that some of this information helps ease you through the grieving process of a lost dog. We know it’s not easy. Seek support if you need it and look after yourself. And be sure to honor your dog’s life with some lovely memorials.