To most people, a pet is not just a cat or just a dog, pets are loved family members and when they die, you may feel a significant or even a traumatic loss. The level of grief depends on the role the pet played on your life as well as the circumstances that led to its death, if you were unable to provide the required veterinary treatment so as to prolong his life, the level of grief may be deeper accompanied by a feeling of guilt. However, there are ways you can cope with the pain. The following are tips to help you cope with the grief of a pet loss.
· Do not let anyone tell you how you are supposed to feel and do not tell yourself either
You one can tell you it’s time to get over the loss and move on, allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling without judgment or embarrassment. It is ok to cry and be angry, with time you will be able to get over it and smile again.
· Seek support from someone who has dealt with pet loss
A person who has lost a pet will understand better what you are going through and will guide you. You can join a pet loss support group or check out online message boards and pet loss hotlines for support.
· Seek help form a professional
If the grief is persistent and it’s interfering with your ability to function properly, a therapist or a mental health professional services can help prevent you from getting into depression.
· Consider having a funeral for the pet
A funeral helps you to express your feelings openly. If it feels right for you, set one up and have your family and friends to support you.
· Create a legacy
Compiling a scrapbook or a photo album, planting a tree, preparing a memorial or just sharing the memories you had with the pet creates a legacy in celebration of your pet’s life. Sharing such memories will help you move on faster.
· Take care of yourself
The pain of losing your pet can drain your energy and emotional reserve fast. Looking after your emotional and physical needs helps you to heal faster. Get enough sleep, eat healthy and exercise regularly to release endorphins, a hormone that boosts your mood.
· Try to maintain your normal routine especially if you have other pets
Surviving pets also experience the loss if a pet and they can become distressed. To avoid this, try and maintain your normal routine which will not only benefit you but also the surviving pets.