The memories of their barks, whiny tears, how they scramble for your attention, and the low growl they make when you try to take their bone from them.
All these flood your mind and cause your heart to ache when you lose a furry family.
As opposed to what others may think, losing your pet can be painful.
It is an overwhelming pain to lose a best friend and companion.
You’ll never forget how they rely on you for their every need and how they wiggle their tail when you come in through the door.
Your feelings are valid and here are 5 major ways you can get through the pain of losing your pet and cherish the moments you had together.
5 Ways to Heal after Losing your Pet
Allow yourself to grief after losing your pet
As pet owners, the way we grieve differs from each other. This means others might find it easier to move on than you would.
At this point, don’t force yourself to stop grieving.
Absorb every moment, every memory, and every reminder of your pet.
You can visit their little corner and allow yourself to remember everything they meant to you.
You can take walks along the places you both went together and grieve those moments.
It’s okay to feel this way. If you try to keep the grief inside, you might end up grieving for a longer period or worse, becoming depressed.
Talk about them often
Another way to heal from losing your pet is by talking about them often.
When my brother and I lost our pet dog, Aria, we found solace in talking about her together.
We would talk about how she growled when we tried to take her bone and how she always wanted to run around and play. She was never tired of playing.
The conversations brought smiles to our lips and the memories comforted us.
Therefore, find someone who can relate to having a pet or a fellow pet lover like you and vent to them.
Also, avoid talking to people who will make you feel like it’s not okay to grieve over your pet.
This was one thing I avoided while mourning Aria.
I avoided telling people who saw her as just an animal about my feelings. I spoke more to pet owners and people who had previously lost their pets.
They told me their grief stories and it helped me get better.
You may also like: 6 Things to Consider Before Bringing a New Pet Home
Give them a befitting burial
When your loved one dies, you pay your last respect and love to them by beautifully burying them.
Do the same for your pet.
Seeing them off in a beautiful way is a great way to heal from any guilt, sadness, or helplessness you might be feeling.
Hold a funeral service for them with other members of your family or well-meaning friends, say a prayer, and bury them.
You can also bury them with their favorite football or leave flowers on their grave.
Comfort yourself knowing death is peace
If you’re unable to get over the loss of your pet. Then it’s time to see it from another angle.
Especially if your pet went through pain before they died. Think of it as a form of rest and peace for them that you couldn’t have given them.
Think of it as an end to any pain, injury, or accident they might have encountered if they were still alive which will probably hurt you much more.
But now, they have gone to rest and where they are is peaceful.
Don’t get a new pet immediately
When we lost our pet, we were advised to get another pet immediately to overcome the feeling of loss and pain we felt but that is not great advice.
It’s like losing a human family member and being told to replace them with a stranger.
Instead of trying to replace your beloved pet, take out time to miss them and heal from the pain.
Bringing in a new pet might cause you to feel guilty about your previous pet or feel scared to take care of a new one.
If you feel the need for a new furry family, you can volunteer at a dog shelter.
Who knows you might find another beautiful pet to fall in love with in the process.
How long will you grieve after losing your pet?
According to the research conducted by the University of Michigan on Grieving Pet’s Death, 174 adults who had lost their pets were examined and 85.7% of owners had experienced at least one symptom of grief, but the occurrence decreased to 35.1% at six months and to 22.4% at one year.
This report also varied based on gender differences.
So, if your question is “How long will I grieve after losing my pet?”
The answer is it depends on you.
Studies show that acute grief symptoms after the death of a pet can last from one to three months and general symptoms of grief can continue, on average, for six months to a year.
This grieving period, however, varies significantly from person to person and can be much longer or shorter.
So, instead of focusing more on your grief and pain, take out this moment of grief to do something memorable and special for your beloved pet.
Losing a loved one hurts more than anything we can ever handle. But that’s the irony of life, “We lose some, we win some.”
Instead of trying to get over your pet quickly because you think it’s absurd to grieve over them, allow yourself to grieve.
Have keepsakes of your pet around the house. If you’re not ready to put away their stuff, take your time in doing that.
And keep their memory with you longer by turning their grave into a garden or making a headstone for them.
Pets are more than animals. They are family, and it’s okay to mourn them as one.
Dedicated to Aria. Our sweet little one. We miss you.