Losing a dog is never easy.
Knowing that your four-legged friend will never be by your side to cuddle while watching TV, or chase birds with you is heartbreaking. The important thing is to cherish the good memories and find comfort in the fact that your dog had a happy life in your home.
Here are some other things that dog lovers go through after their dog passes away:
Your grief might not be recognized
The feelings someone experiences when a pet dies is often labeled as disenfranchised grief; this type of loss is not recognized by other individuals as a major life event, especially by those who have never owned a pet. Other experiences that can be associated with disenfranchised grief include abortions and perinatal death. Your dog’s death may not be something to mourn over with others publicly as you would a deceased person, but your dog was still a major part of your life and you know that all the stages of grief are applicable in this situation as well.
You know that pet loss support groups can help
Animal rescue organizations like SPCA offer meetings free of charge that cater to pet owners who have recently lost their furry friends. You know how important it is to have support groups like these, since not everyone can relate to the loss of a pet.
You know that having a funeral can help provide closure
It is important to give your pet a proper ceremony and invite those who knew them, so you can share good memories about them. You also know it is important to ignore anyone who thinks a funeral for your beloved dog is unnecessary.
You know that getting rid of any reminders can help
Throwing away your dog’s favorite chew toy might be hard, but you know that it is an important step in moving on. Anything that serves as a reminder of your dog should be removed from your home, otherwise the grief process will become a lot more difficult.
You know that a new dog would never replace your old one
When you start thinking about getting a new dog, you know that it will bring joy to your life, even if it cannot replace your old one. You know that sometimes the best way to get over the grief of losing one pet is to occupy your time caring for a new one.
You know that it is important to maintain a daily routine for your other pets
It is hard to go on your daily walks with one less member of your group, but you know it is important to stick to a daily routine, for the sake of your other pets. Your pets are very sensitive to any emotional or physical changes in their home, and it is important that they can still enjoy their familiar routine.
You know that remembering your dog on special days is important
It will be hard, but taking a moment to remember your dog on their birthday or the anniversary of when you first brought them home will bring you joy in the long run. Sharing a happy moment with loved ones through reminiscing about your dog is an important way to memorialize them and work through your own grief.
You know guilt can be present
There can be a certain level of guilt that you feel surrounding the way you acted during your dog’s last days. Maybe you remember the time that you yelled at your pet for having an accident on the carpet or that you didn’t walk them as long as you usually would have due to stress at work or at home.
You know it will take time
The way that people grieve is different for everyone and it is important to also remind yourself that grieving takes time. You may feel sad one day and angry the next. It is all completely normal.
You can experience complicated grief
Mourning the loss of your dog is a normal emotional state, but you know that sometimes it can turn into something a little more complex. Complicated grief is when mourning turns into something like depression and it is a serious condition that should be remedied. You know that losing your dog is a life event that has impacted you greatly and that you need to keep tabs on your grief in case it turns into a mental illness.
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