When a beloved pet dies, it can change your entire routine. Perhaps you got up early to take the dog for a walk before work or to refill the cat's food dish. It may be the absence of these routines that intensifies your grief now that these tasks are no longer necessary. It will take time, but eventually you will get to a new normal. Until that happens, it's important to allow yourself all the time you need to grieve the loss of a relationship that is like no other.
Say Farewell in an Official Way
Whether you choose cremation or traditional burial for your pet, consider hosting a formal ceremony for yourself and others who loved the animal. This ritual helps to make the death more real and brings about a sense of closure. It also gives everyone who loved the cat, dog, or other type of pet the opportunity to come together to support one another.
Memorialize Your Pet in Photos or Videos
Creating a special photo album or turning pictures into a video tribute are both ideal ways to remember the love you shared with your four-legged friend. Collaborating with others on the project can help you bond over your shared love and grief as well. The great thing about making a scrapbook or video is that you can look at them any time you feel the need to connect to the memory of your pet.
Talk or Write About Your Feelings
You have shared every day of your life with your pet for the past several years. It's only natural to feel a wide range of emotions when he or she passes away. If you don't have an understanding friend to talk to, consider keeping a journal to process your feelings. Pet owners who need additional support should check out the resources under Pet Loss on our Cedar Pet Clinic website. This includes links to support groups, volunteer counselors, and information on how to explain the death of a beloved family pet to your children.
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