how to deal with the loss of a pet

9 Tips On How To Deal With The Loss Of A Pet

How To Deal With The Loss Of A Pet

In this post we will be talking about 9 great ways on how to deal with the loss of a pet. Pets mean a lot to most people. People tend to love their pets and consider them as family members. Caregivers go to an extent of celebrating birthdays of their pets, carrying their pets’ pictures around or even take them for a vacation. Therefore, when a pet dies, it is not abnormal to feel overwhelmed by pain and sorrow.

Pets are a source of emotional support, companionship, unconditional love, and acceptance. If one gets to understand the bond between humans and pets, you are already coping with pet loss- knowing that grieving pet loss is not a bizarre incident.

Finding excellent ways to deal with the death of your pet, you are already coming closer to the day when the pet loss memories bring smiles instead of tears. Let’s have a look at the best tips to deal with the loss of your pet.

How To Deal With A Loss Of A Pet:

1). Acknowledge That The Loss Is Real:

Most people will tend to pretend “it’s just a pet” and some tend to feel like that they should be over it. It’s very key to sink it down into your brain that the death of your pet is real and come to terms with it. One study noted that people tend to be closer to dogs than they are to some of their family members. Some people will tend to tell you that “it’s just a pet”, it’s fine to tell such people that you are not ready to talk on what happened!

2). Look For Support:

Lately, there are various in-person and online support groups specifically meant for persons at any stage of grieving loss of a pet. One of such online support community is Rainbow Bridge- a very popular community that deals with any pet-associated bereavement. Most people have been helped via this online support community. Like they always say, “you need a back to lean on when the going gets tougher”. It’s also an ideal time to call your pet loving friend and share out on what you are really feeling.

3). Talk To Your Vet:

There is a likelihood that your vet deals with people in your situation from time to time and that’s why he/she is a very key resource to your grieving. He is likely to assure you that you are not alone and possibly he can further direct you to helpful local resources. One study indicated that 19% of people who have lost pets tend to switch vets since they could not face the same office again, taking it as a place of pet support and loss can help you cope up.

4). Take Care Of Yourself:

If you are having a very hard time in coping up, you should not pass on some of your holiday fun. People often tend to make their obligations and socializing thin at such times even when all seems to be ok. Don’t turn your life into an indoor one or even go into depression. Remember that your pet has always been comfortable under your comfort, and get back into your normal life. Remember to eat a healthy diet and sleep enough.

5). Do Something:

In honor of memories to your pet, do something honorable. In case, you have the ashes of your pet, decide on where to bury them. You can also dedicate a song, tree, park fountain or anything in remembrance of your pet. Also, you can give your pet’s food as a donation to a food bank or a shelter. Do not act like you never had a pet. Although the dedications make you sad, they are a good way of remembering and cherishing your pet’s memories.

6). Get Another One When You Are Ready:

It’s ok to immediately find another pet after losing one. The new pet will equally bring the companionship. If you had two pets, there is a likelihood that the other pet is also missing company. Your children too may be missing the pet. If it works out for you- without feeling guilty, get another pet almost immediately. At the same time, do not push yourself so much to be ready to acquire one. Some people may be nervous about getting another pet.

7). Stay Connected With Friends:

Most people love taking their dogs for an evening/ morning walk and in the process they get to know more people. Therefore, after the loss of your pet you should not stay indoors all day long. Get out and meet people, talk to them and share your story rather than being alone all day. Statically, face to face meeting with people have been one of the sure ways to get rid of your stress and thus cope up with pet loss. Furthermore, you can invite your friends for lunch/dinner or hang-out- makes you stay positive!

8). Give Yourself Time And Permission To Grieve:

Grown-ups, more so men do not cry publically and tend to rarely share out their feelings. It’s good to remind yourself that the love for your pet is equal to the love for persons thus it’s normal to feel like crying and hurt when your pet dies. Your feelings are right and do not try to thin the bond that was between you and your pet. Your pet loved and adored you truly, so allow yourself to feel anything about your pet. Just move toward the loss pain.

9). Consider Holding A Farewell Ceremony:

A pet farewell ceremony should not be as typical as a human funeral ceremony, it simply means setting aside some time to commemorate and say bye to your pet. This has proved to be so therapeutic to some people as it helps you get closer to healing.


Grief can be a very emotional, frustrating and emotional thing that one can experience. It’s worse when one loses a pet. Our societies do not guarantee pet owners to grieve pet loss openly, therefore, most pet owners feel alone and isolated. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help pet owners know that they are not alone and their feeling is entirely normal.

Have you lost a pet in your life? What was something that you did to help you get over it, that has not been listed here? How long did it take you to be at peace about it? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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  • OnlineBzDog - TQ

    I can relate to this. About two years ago, I lost one of my dog to cancer. It took me 8 months to recover. I had him since he was 3 weeks old, and one day, he has gone. I am still missing him today. Even as I am typing this. I enjoy reading your post.

    • A.J.

      Hi there

      Thanks for stopping by, and reading. Glad you like the post, and I hope you find another dog in time that will bring you just as much joy, as that one.


  • Gigi

    I don’t even want to think of that day when I will lose my pet dog. He is a source of joy and comfort (he’s right now laying in his bed and just being with me in my room). It is true that some people find it funny that people even grieve about the loss of their pets. But to pet owners like me, my black labrador is a family member who will be missed when he’s gone.
    Thanks for the tips you shared here. My best friend just lost his dog. He and his family are still grieving. I will have them look into Rainbow Briddge. Thanks for sharing this resource.


  • Shirley Dawson

    You are so right in this article. No need to feel ashamed about grieving a pet. Pets can love you so unconditionally and you will love them back. They can often be wonderful friends you have shared many experiences with. I remember taking my beautiful old black cat to the vet to have put to sleep because I could no longer care for her in my home and she was so ill she could not potty anymore – it just all came out everywhere. Nothing could be done. I carried her in my arms into the vet’s office and sat there crying while they put her to sleep. Then I carried her body in a box back to bury in our “pet cemetery” in the woods. That box felt so very heavy. I remember saying to the guy at the desk something about a grown woman crying over a cat. But he said he saw it all the time. Nice site you have here. – Shirley

    • A.J.

      Hi Shirley

      I know exactly how that is, I’m glad you shared that on here, as I hope it helps others. Expression is the greatest thing we have in life, and its better to express then not too. Have a great one 🙂


  • Jill

    Hi Alex,
    What wonderful advice. This post moved me so much. Thank you. I have shared it with Facebook etc.
    All the best,

  • Gail

    Thank you for these sensitive tips. It is always difficult when you lose a pet. I have cats and love them to pieces as they become part of the family so it is always difficult when they transition. I like your tips and have used many of them in the past to deal with the loss of loved ones. One thing I always remind myself is the oneness of the universe and that we are all still connected by energy. I realise that this may be just my own beliefs and it may not help other people but I do find it very comforting and for me at least, know this to be true. Thanks again for a great post. I look forward to reading more. Gail

  • AnxietyPanda

    AnxietyPanda can completely relate to this. AnxietyPanda still grieves the loss of her kitty and it’s been more than a year. Knowing that he is no longer suffering is a very comforting thought. AnxietyPanda imagines conversations with kitty in order to keep his memory alive.

  • Will

    Really great advice AJ, thank you for sharing. The loss of a pet is always a tough thing to deal with, especially if it’s been in your family for a long time. We did a farewell ceremony for my dog and it definitely helped a lot.

  • Penelope

    I feel this is something I’ve been preparing for, for quite awhile. I have a 17 year old cat and each day I have with her is an unexpected bonus. She’s not sick…she’s just old. Thanks for these tips, because when I do lose her, it will be real grief and I do have to create time and space for that. I also will probably give her an amazing funeral.

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