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Coping with the Loss of your Pet

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I find it extremely difficult to cry, which I assume is true for most men. It’s not that I have the emotional capacity of a teaspoon, but over time I have trained myself to hold back tears to the best of my capabilities. But all of that went to hell when I was sobbing uncontrollably beside the lifeless body of my dog.

As we age, we experience an increasing number of major life changes, including the loss of beloved friends, family members, and pets. Losing a beloved pet is a traumatic experience and you go through a rollercoaster of emotions, which is never easy. Yet, it is one of the hardest realities that all dog owners eventually have to face. Getting over the fact that the little ball of fur you raised is no longer with you is difficult and those who have outlived their pets can relate to the feeling. Losing a dog or any pet that is close to you is similar to the loss of a relative.

There is no easy way of getting through the process, but there were a few things that helped me get through it all.

  1. The Final Moments

In our society, it is commonly said that a dog’s death is the worst death imaginable, and more often than not, it is true. I have rarely heard of a case where a dog has passed away peacefully. It is difficult to watch.

It may even extend to the point where you have to decide your dog’s fate when you accept that the inevitable is near. This is when you prepare yourself for the worst.

Deciding on euthanasia is a deeply personal decision that only you can make. But at times, this may be the merciful thing to do.

  1. The Grieving Process

While some people may not understand the depth of feeling you had for your pet, you should never feel guilty or ashamed about grieving for an animal friend. Every other person grieves differently.

It’s a natural process and you can’t let anyone tell you how to feel. Let yourself feel whatever you feel without embarrassment. It’s okay to be angry, to cry or not to cry.

When the time is right, you will be able to look back at the good memories and moments of joy, and smile about it all.

  1. How to take care of your deceased pet.

If your family allows it (it may not be acceptable in our culture), you can opt to bury your pet in your own yard. It will be the best way to bid the final farewell to your pet. If that is not possible, you can ask your vet for help and they will help you do the needful.

 Deciding on euthanasia is a deeply personal decision that only you can make. But at times, this may be the merciful thing to do.

  1. Keeping the memories

Preparing a memorial, planting a tree in memory of your pet, compiling a photo album or scrapbook, or otherwise sharing the memories you enjoyed with your pet, can create a legacy to celebrate the life of your animal companion.

  1. Getting a new pet

There is always a good reason to share your life with a new companion; however it is also necessary to make sure that you are ready for your new friend. Welcoming a new pet is a big step and it can be difficult for most people to even imagine the entire ordeal as it can bring back sad memories. On the other hand, it may be tempting to rush out and fill the void left by your pet’s death by immediately getting another pet. Make sure that you are ready to welcome a new pet because if you are still grieving when you bring the new pet into your family; the dog has no way of knowing that you are grieving over your lost pet. It will end up affecting your new dog in a negative way.

Losing your pet can and will impact you stress levels and it can quickly deplete your energy levels and emotional levels. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time. So it is advised that you try to maintain a healthy diet and overall lifestyle.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain and express your emotions in ways that allow you to heal.

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Ankit Shakya

Ankit Shakya