Coping with the Death of Your Pet


It’s natural to feel sorrow when a person you love dies. It’s also natural to grieve when your beloved pet dies. Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love, and the loss of an animal can be overwhelming to its owner. Understanding the grief process and finding ways to cope with your loss can bring you closer to the day when you remember your pet with a smile rather than with tears. The Humane Society offers suggestions for coping with the loss of a pet:
• Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to express it.
• Don’t hesitate to reach out to others who can lend a sympathetic ear. Pet Partners offers a list of pet-loss hotlines for those grieving over the death of a pet.
• Write about your feelings, either in a journal or a poem, essay, or short story.
• Call your local humane society to see whether it offers a pet-loss support group or can refer you to one.
• Prepare a memorial for your pet.

You may also want to ask your veterinarian or local animal shelter about available pet-loss hotlines or explore the Internet for pet-loss support groups and coping information.

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