The loss of a pet is a devastating experience. Pets are a part of the family and even for some, are considered “fur babies”. When a pet passes away, there are pet bereavement counselors available to help the individual or family deal with their loss. With the death of a pet comes the same grieving process as when we lose a human loved one. There will be feelings of sadness, anger, resentment, loneliness, and even guilt. These feelings are normal no matter how we lose our beloved pet. Pet loss grief counseling is just one of the ways to help us to understand how to cope with a death of a dog.
Pet Bereavement Counseling, Pet Grief Counseling
There are several steps we must take when going the process of pet loss grief. It is never a good idea to just leave it all “bottled up” inside. Just as with any form of grief, grieving the loss of a pet is an important step in the healing process for our psychological and physical health and well-being.
Pet Loss Grief Support
Here are a few suggestions to help with the grieving process.
- The first and foremost step when grieving the loss of a pet is to allow yourself a chance to feel and breathe. Do not allow others to tell you how you should feel about the loss of your fur baby, this is an emotional time and you should allow those emotions to show. People deal with this step differently, some cry uncontrollably, while others are angry and place blame on others such as the veterinary clinic or doctor. However, you deal with step one is completely up to you.
- The next step is to visualize what the next step may be, and do not forget to breathe. Whatever caused the death of your pet—illness, a sudden accident (such as being hit by a vehicle), or the onset of old age. Do you call the veterinarian right away and report the death? Or cover your pet with a blanket and spend some time reflecting on memories? The next steps you take after your pet passes are up to you, and you must take some time to take this new reality into perspective.
- Call a friend you can trust to understand how you are feeling. Having someone to talk to during this difficult time of loss will be priceless.
- The final step is to plan how you are going to memorialize your beloved pet. Some have a burial at a local pet cemetery; others opt for a more private “funeral” in the family’s backyard.
The grief process is a very unique process indeed; when a beloved pet crosses over the “Rainbow Bridge” it is something that must be taken seriously and in order to have a full pet loss grief recovery you should contact a professional, licensed pet grief counselor as soon as possible to aid you in your pet loss grief. The loss of a pet has never something anyone should take lightly, your pet was an important part of your family and should be treated as such.
Courage to try new behaviors.
Seeking therapy can be a source of support, comfort, and even inspiration. Even if you have good support in your life, the loss of a pet can exhaust your energies and make you feel isolated. It may be hard to see beyond the current painful time, or imagine things can feel different.
Chaz Stevens is an entrepreneur, former journalist, and well-known activist who has appeared on the front pages of Time, Miami Herald, Guardian, Slate, and the Huffington Post. He’s also appeared on The Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and Fox News.
Chaz lives in South Florida with his two rescue dogs. Before launching ESAD International, he could be found working on IT for IBM, Microsoft, and The Walt Disney World Company. But his favorite job is the one he’s now doing full time — helping people get to a better place.