Loss of a Pet: What To Do

  • Give yourself permission to grieve -- Only you know what your pet meant to you
  • Memorialize your pet -- It makes the loss real and helps with closure; it allows the bereaved to express their feelings, pay tribute and reflect; it draws in social support
  • Get lots of rest, good nutrition and exercise -- Surround yourself with people who understand your loss; let others care for you; take advantage of support groups for bereaved pet owners
  • Learn all you can about the grief process -- It helps the owners realize that what they are experiencing is normal
  • Accept the feelings that come with grief -- Talk, write, sing or draw
  • Indulge yourself in small pleasures
  • Be patient with yourself -- Don't let society dictate how long mourning should last
  • Give yourself permission to backslide -- This will end, and your life will be normal again; don't be surprised if holidays, smells, sounds or words trigger a relapse.
  • Be sure to consult your own "higher power" -- Either religious or spiritual
  • Don't be afraid to get help --  See a grief counselor or another mental health professional