A Guide To Handling The Death Of A Pet

Anyone who’s already gone through the death of a beloved pet in the past will understand how painful the situation can be. The emotional pain and separation can be likened to that of losing a dear human family member or friend. When a pet owner has been with their pet for many years, the bonds formed can be so strong that one day, when the pet is no longer around, the owner is left on a blank slate on how to move on with their life.

As with any loss in life, handling the death of a pet is important to learn. Once you welcome pets into your home, you’ll also have to prepare yourself for their loss one day. This begins with having a good support system that understands what you’re going through. Then, all the other strategies surrounding handling the death of a pet kicks in.

Read on for a guide on how you can cope with the devastating demise of your beloved pet.


Give Your Pet A Decent Burial Or Funeral

While you won’t hold a wake or a ceremony as you’d normally do with human beings, you can always take it upon yourself to give your pet a good final goodbye. If your local state laws allow it and you have the space for it in your backyard, you can bury your pet. Then, you can make that space special by planting flowers or putting a small tombstone or pot.

If you don’t like to bury your pet or doing so isn’t allowed, pet cremation is also available as an option. If the pet cremation cost is one you can afford, having your pet cremated is a good way to have their ashes in an urn. Display this in a special place in your home and have a photo beside it. There, you can always remember your pet who was once a member of your family.

dog memorial

Take Time To Grieve

Don’t let anyone dictate to you how you should grieve and how long your grieving process will be. Every individual goes through grief differently. Take it easy on yourself and give yourself that time to grieve.

Yes, you’ll still have to go on with your job and day-to-day activities. Grieving for your pet’s loss doesn’t mean sulking on the couch for a week or two. It simply means allowing yourself to talk openly about your feelings and what you’re going through. Then, the more you recognize your grief, the better your chances of healing and moving on from the pain.


Explain The Situation To Your Children

If you have children who’ve been attached to your family pet, it may get a little bit trickier to handle the death. You’ll need to take extra effort in helping your children understand the death of a pet in a way they’ll understand. By doing so, your kids won’t have to keep asking you over and over again where their pet has gone and why they haven’t returned home yet.

Be honest, but also be gentle with your children’s feelings. Remember that their emotional and mental aptitude aren’t yet as wide and strong as that of adults. Let them know too about how you’re feeling about your pet’s loss, so your children are comforted in the thought that you’re there for them every step of the way.

Reach Out To Others If You Want To

If you’re an empty nester, this is when the death of a pet can become a lot more painful. Perhaps for so many years now, your pet has been your constant companion at home in the absence of grown-up kids. So, when they pass on, you’ll start to feel alone and overwhelmed at the prospect of going through life without the pet you’ve loved and cared for so many years.

When this is the case, it may be a good idea to reach out to others who’ve lost their pets, too. Technology is there to bridge connections, and when you search on social media, you may come across groups and forums dealing with the grief that comes after losing a pet.

This gives you an avenue to talk about what you’re going through and release any emotions you may have been keeping to yourself. This is essential for a good healing and coping process.

holding hands


When you lose a pet, it’s natural to feel sad and go through a grieving phase. When you’ve been together for many years, it can be overwhelming to wake up one day without your dear companion. But such is life—no relationships, even with animals, are ever spared from death.

When the time comes for your pet to move on to the next life, you have to be prepared. Take it one day at a time with your moving-on process. One day, the tears will turn into smiles with beautiful memories to remember of your pet.

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