Who Can You Talk To When You Lose A Pet?

There’s no other way to describe it. The death of a pet is heartbreaking. You’ve lost a member of the family, and while non-pet-owners may scoff, the sense of loss is very, very real.


People own animals for lots of reasons. A pet is a companion, a protector, a friendly furry or feathered face when the rest of the world seems heartless. A pet can also be a service animal that provides valuable, life-sustaining support to someone who needs it.


Because pets are so important to our lives and families, when your pet is suddenly gone, Stages of Grief for a Petthere is an undeniable void. You may experience the same seven stages of grief you feel when a fellow human dies, according to Recoverfromgrief.com. Shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, the upward turn, working through it all lead to the final step, acceptance and hope. Don’t let anyone diminish the depth of your feelings.


Experts agree; allow yourself to experience every stage, and while you’re powering through, reach out to others who understand and support your feelings. Friends, family members, and others who share your love and memories of your fur baby will be there for you.


If you feel your grief is overwhelming, reach out for professional assistance. This is important. Taking care of yourself is important to your recovery. The people in your life do not want you to suffer any more than you already have.


Dealing with the loss of a petThere are counselors in every community who won’t judge your pain. They understand as humans we rely on each other for support. If you work, your employer may have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that makes confidential counseling services available to you at no cost. Check out churches and grief centers, too. There are pet support groups led by trained mental health professionals. Ask at your local pet shop, too, especially locally or family owned enterprises. You will find you are not alone in your struggles.


There are online support groups that allow you to memorialize your pet and express your love through poetry and art. These nonverbal expressions may be the most powerful of all.

Should You Feel Guilty When a Pet Dies?

When your pet dies, it is a natural inclination to believe you had a part in it or you didn’t do enough on your own to help prolong their life. However, just like humans, pets get sick, catch diseases or get into accidents that are often uncontrollable by their owners. No matter the circumstances, the owner of a deceased pet cannot help but feel emotional pain and guilt.


Don’t Run Through All The Scenarios


Perhaps you weren’t quick enough with the door and your dog ran outside or your cat was lying in the driveway and was unseen by your family members. Either way, the guilty conscious always follows, even if it was a careless mistake that obviously was meant to cause no harm.

Pet Cremation Services

We feel this way because of cause and effect. When something goes wrong, we make excuses. We want answers, and we demand closure. Could this have been prevented? What if I shut the door 5 seconds quicker? What if that food had something too sharp in it for my dog to handle? All of these questions are demanding an answer, an answer we put on ourselves as if we are the antagonist, the villain in our pet’s life.


Remember the Good Times


Though guilt can be a very strong emotion, train yourself to ease this feeling and accept what cannot be changed. Choosing balance and forgiveness for ourselves is what will get us on a path of closure and back to good memories of our beloved pets. After all, they are not just our best friends. We were once their best friend too. That idea of remembering the good times you had with a pet will definitely help you move on from the grief of not having them there anymore.

Pet Loss Guilt

You might see a toy, their favorite spot to nap or just another dog, and instead of feeling a wave of guilt, just remember why they loved that toy, that spot or what the other pet owner is feeling in the present moment. When you overcome the negativity and replace it with positivity or optimism, you’ll move beyond and feelings of doubt or guilt.