Losing a pet can be one of the most heart-breaking experiences in a person’s life. The bond between a human being and an animal can be deeper and more loving than some could ever imagine. Often a pet is the most trusted companion in a person’s life, providing unconditional love and loyalty in even the most difficult of circumstances. 
 
When a pet dies or runs away, an owner may lose someone who has always been by their side. The loss can significantly affect their ability to concentrate and function, just like a loss of any other kind. 
Coping with the loss of a pet

We often grieve our pets in silence 

Despite their pain, people grieving a pet don’t normally talk about their feelings because they are afraid of being judged. When they do talk about what’s going on they are often met with insensitive remarks that minimize their feelings and make them feel misunderstood and alone. Some of the most common responses include: 
“At least you can always get a new cat.” 
“He’s in a better place now.” 
“Keep your chin up – it was only a dog.” 
“It’s a good thing you have other pets.” 
“Be sure to keep busy so you don’t have to think about it.” 
 
Not only are these statements ineffective in comforting a griever, they cause further isolation. At a time when a griever may need a friend the most, they feel lonelier than ever. 
 
What to do when your pet dies

There's a better way to deal with the pain of pet loss 

The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss is an incredible resource for pet lovers everywhere. Not only does it offer the comfort and understanding that grievers often don’t find from friends and family, it also provides practical advice for moving through the painful feelings caused by the loss of a pet. 
Grievers can also choose to work privately or in a group setting with a Grief Recovery Specialist - some of our Specialists offer groups specifically for those who are missing their pets. 
 
By working through their grief, pet owners can cherish beloved memories without them turning painful – and if and when they do decide to adopt another pet, they will be able to invest themselves fully in the new relationship and enjoy their new companion with an open heart. 
About the Author 
Libby Kramer
Libby Kramer is an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist. With a background in education and as the mother of two children, she has led numerous talks and programmes on the subject of Helping Children with Loss. She currently offers support to Certified Grief Recovery Specialists as well as contributing content to Grief Recovery UK. She practises with individual clients and groups as a Grief Recovery Specialist in Luxembourg. 
Tagged as: Loss of pet
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