Therefore when a beloved pet dies, there is an enormous sense of grief and loss and these feelings can be felt very deeply. Grief can be so severe you can even feel physical pain and symptoms that mimic a heart attack. The loss of a pet is also likely to drastically change your daily routine or the way you connect, causing ripple effects that go far beyond just the loss of the loved pet. For some, it might have been the only reason that you went out of the house and exercised or the only reason you got up in the morning. This lack of exercise can then affect the mental state of a person creating very dark and negative thoughts towards life. For all of these reasons, the emotional and mental health of a person can often be altered, so the loss of a loved pet and the grieving process needs to be taken seriously.
Losing a loved pet for many would feel like losing a member of the family. Unfortunately, some people think that a pet's life is less valuable or meaningful than human life and therefore don't take pet loss as seriously as they should. This can make the grieving process even more painful and prolonged; often, pet owners experience the same level of grief as the loss of a human life. People often fear to be considered abnormal if grieving for a pet too much, but you should never feel like this. Don't let these negative feelings affect the way you grieve and come to terms with your pet's death. If you can explain how you feel you should find that people start to understand the loss and grief that you are feeling and feel empathetic about the pain you are going through and become more supportive and understanding.
There are many ways in which to work through this grief, but it is important to be careful and not be tempted to rush out and fill the void left by the pet's death by getting a new pet straight away. Wanting to share your life with another animal is a great thing; however, it is best to allow yourself to mourn the old pet first so that you allow yourself time to embrace your emotions instead of avoiding them.
This will mean that you are emotionally ready for when you do want to open your heart and home to another animal. This decision can be a very personal one to make so don't let others tell you how you feel or what to do; only you know how you are really feeling, and often people understand this once you explain how this loss has affected you.
If you are struggling and need support please reach out to one of our Grief Counsellors.
If you’re in need of some extra support in the days and weeks following your pet’s death, take a look at these handy guides written by leading figure in grief and empathy education and author of When Pets Die: It's Alright to Grieve, Doris Zagdanski.
Patch & Purr offers pet cremations for when your loved one is no longer by your side, but forever in your heart.
We strive to treat your loyal friend with the care and respect they deserve at every step of the way. Call us 24/7 on 1300 112 711 or use the contact form below to speak to a Patch & Purr team member.