How to Grieve the Loss of a Dog

Did you know that 45% of US households had dogs as pets in 2020? Many people consider their dogs to be family members and treat them as such. So, it’s no surprise that the loss of a dog can feel devastating.

Has your dog passed away recently? Coping with a dog’s death isn’t easy but there are a few ways of grieving to make it much better.

The following guide will explain how to grieve and honor a dog after it passes away. Read on to learn several effective tools for coping with the loss of your dog. 

Coping With the Loss of a Dog

Take your time and acknowledge your loss. Make sure you allow yourself to express the grief you’re feeling.

Reach out to others like friends and family for sympathy and to process the loss. Try searching online for pet loss support groups to communicate with others going through situations.

Try writing about how you’re feeling after your dog passes. Journal entries, poems, essays, or short stories about your pet can help the grieving process.

Prepare a memorial like a spot for their ashes after dog cremation or a headstone at their burial site. Consider making a scrapbook with old photos to remember your pet and the joy they provided.

Children and Losing a Dog

Losing a family dog is often a child’s first experience with death. They might blame themselves, their parents, or the vet for not preventing the death. Kids might feel guilty, sad, or scared that they’ll lose other loved ones.

Be honest with your child and avoid telling them things like the dog ran away. Your child might expect the dog to return and feel betrayed after learning the truth.

Don’t try to conceal your own grief from your child after a dog passes away. Expressing grief will reassure your child that it’s ok to be sad about the loss. This can help children work through their feelings and process losing a pet.

Other Dogs in Your Home

Other dogs in your home may whine, stop eating or drinking, and become lethargic after they lose their friend. They might even become distressed by your emotional state and changing circumstances.

Make sure to give other dogs and pets in your home lots of attention and try to keep a normal routine. It’s beneficial for them and also for you while you grieve.

Getting Another Dog

Don’t make the mistake of getting a new dog too quickly. It won’t make the grieving process any easier and it’s not fair to the new dog as they can’t replace your previous pet.

Only get a new dog when you’re done grieving and you feel the time is absolutely right. Then, consider visiting your local shelter to adopt a rescue in need of a loving home.

It Takes Time

Now you know that processing the loss of a dog takes time and self-care. No one has an easy time grieving a pet’s death and that’s ok. Take it slow, remember the good times, and know that you were a great dog owner. 

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