Coping With The Loss Of A Dog

Loss of a DogOur dogs are a part of our family. They are a beloved companion, friend, support and warm shoulder to cry on. They are also part of our celebrations of happiness and achievement, and they are always there to give us the love we need after a long day at work or school.

Coping with the loss of a dog is very difficult for the entire family. It is essential to realize that everyone will experience this loss in his or her own way. Talking to the family, particularly to children, and encouraging them to talk about how they feel will be important to start the grieving and healing process. loss of a dog

Don’t Minimize or Ignore the Grief

One common mistake that people make is to try to minimize grief. This is not just with the loss of a pet; it can also occur with the loss of a family member, friend or loved one.

Trying to cover up or shut away grief may seem like an effective short-term solution, but it prevents you from moving forward to find healing and acceptance of the loss. Grieve in a way that feels right to you. You may cry, feel sad or even angry at the loss, that is all normal in the early stages.

Talking to others and remembering your pet can help you to start to move to healing and acceptance. For some, putting together a scrapbook of pictures and memories of the dog is a meaningful way to come to peace with the change in your life.

Consider a Memorial

One way to assist in moving past the loss is to find a way to memorialize your pet. Some owners may choose to cremate their pet and keep a small urn or a small amount of cremains in a memorial box or a specialized candle holder. These can be personalized to include the name of the dog, picture or engraving of the pet or even a poem or verse that has meaning and brings comfort.

Another way to memorialize a dog is to have a garden stone cast in their memory. These are beautiful works of art that can be large or small and can be placed in a favorite spot in your yard or garden. Some pet owners may also have their pet interred at a pet cemetery and design a headstone or marker, providing a place to visit, reflect and remember.

Find Enjoyment in Life

It is important not to become frozen in life after the loss of a dog. Find something that you enjoy, perhaps not immediately but when you feel ready, and don’t become isolated. It may be difficult to see other owners out with their dogs,  but remembering the good times you had with your pet when seeing these interactions will be positive and healthy.

Do not rush into getting another dog. Remember, another dog will allow you to create a new and amazing relationship, but it will not replace the love and bond you experienced with the dogs of your past. By being emotionally ready for a new dog, you will be able to make the most of this relationship without trying to create a replacement.