Family pets hold such a precious place in our hearts and lives, one can't deny the strong human and pet bond. Many pet owners & caregivers celebrate their pets birthday, confide in their pets, have pictures of their furry companions hanging on their wall of fame or even carry their dogs mutt shot in their wallets. It is no surprise that with the death of a pet comes many tears shed, sorrow & emotions. Here are a few tips to help you or your friend cope with the loss of a pet during the grieving and healing process.
1. Grieving is natural. It is important to acknowledge your grieve and give yourself permission to express it. In the midst of all the sadness give yourself plenty of time and space to grieve the loss of your pet. It may take you some time to get to the point of acceptance, but in time their is healing. Don't be afraid or ashamed to shed a tear. Often times when you grieve the lost of a family member one can experience extreme sadness and depression. Remember, there is not one way to grieve and each person in your family may cope with the loss differently.
2. Speak with Support Group. Reach your arms out for a hug towards others with a sympathetic ear. It is important to open up, lean on, and speak with others about your loss who understand what you are going through. Having a strong support group of family members, counselors, ministers, friends, and loved ones can provide you with emotional support and aid in the healing process. Many animal shelters and humane societies offer support groups or counseling. Talk with your vet about groups, counselors or pet loss hotlines that can help you with the grieving process. It is amazing how sharing your pets story, what he or she meant to you, pets pictures and memories can make a difference in easing the pain.
3. In Memory of _____. Keep the memory of your pet alive. Celebrate the life of your pet by donating to an animal charity or rescue in your pet's name.
4. Re-channel Grief. Channel your grief into a positive way by sharing your love with animals in need. Volunteer one hour a week at an animal shelter.
5. Give Yourself time to heal. When your pet passes away don't run out immediately to fill the void by getting another pet. Give yourself time to grieve because rushing into this decision isn't fair to you or your new pet. . When the pain of losing your pet becomes more bearable, you can consider getting a new pet. There are so many deserving pets in need of a home, so when the time is right and your heart ready consider adopting a pet from a local animal shelter or rescue .
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