How to Cope With the Loss of a Pet

Dog Tips

November 28, 2022

How to Cope With the Loss of a Pet

We’ve all had that once-in-a-lifetime pet that we would do absolutely anything for. To us, they’re more than just a pet; they’re a best friend and/or a member of the family. The hardest part about having a pet is saying goodbye. Sometimes we know it’s coming, other times we don’t, but the feelings that come with losing a pet are hard, can feel overwhelming and completely normal. Today we want to share a few ways to help cope with the loss of a pet and we truly hope that this information makes this time just a little easier for you and your family.

Senior black dog standing in a pile of autumn leaves with it's mouth open

Coping With Grief​

Even though every person experiences grief individually, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. There are so many resources available online, in magazines and in your own family to help you cope during this hard time.

Below are a few recommendations for coping with grief:

  • Acknowledge your grief and allow yourself to feel it. Keeping things bottled up inside only makes things harder.
  • Join a support group. There are tons of support groups available for pet parents who are experiencing the loss of a pet. You can find one through your veterinarian, as well as social media. The American Kennel Club has their very own AKC Pet Loss Support Group on Facebook. “Whether you lost a puppy, a senior, or any dog in between, we welcome you to share your experience without judgement with others in the dog community.”
  • Express your feelings in a journal or poem. Sometimes writing things down and getting it all out on paper can help provide relief during mourning and other hard situations.

How to Remember Your Pet​

Even though this time is hard, our pets have given us so many joyous memories that we should still remember. It might be hard at first, or at times, but remembering all of the amazing adventures and happy memories you had together (like that time they got ultra-mega zoomies in the backyard!) will bring a smile to your face.

Below are some ways you can remember your pet:

  • Create a shadowbox with their collar, toy and/or blanket with a photo.
  • Have a memorial service your pet.
  • Make a donation to a shelter in their name.
  • Plant a tree or garden in honor of them to symbolize new life.
  • Create a photo album with all of your favorite photos.

How to Move Forward

One of the hardest parts about losing a pet is moving forward and everyone is on their own timeline. Never think that you have to feel a certain way by the next day, week, or even months. The most important thing to do is to give yourself time.

Some people are ready to get another pet shortly after, while others aren’t. Allow yourself to take the time needed for you. There is so much joy from having a pet, but always wait until your heart is ready to welcome another friend.

We know this post may have been hard to read, but we want each and every one of you to know that we are here for you and we personally know how hard it is to lose such amazing best friends. We hope this provided some relief, support and helpful information that you can use now, in the future, and share with a friend who needs it.

Senior dog close up of snout and tongue hanging out

We are here for you!