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Every dog lover who has spent many years with his canine buddy will definitely feel a sense of loss when this buddy exits from our world. A dog’s death is not something of a joke; many pet owners have regarded their dogs as children, best friends, and many other important roles in their life. Most of them cannot even stop thinking about the precious moments that they have spent together with their dog and wished that it could happen again, but it can’t. For them, a dog’s death is no different from human death, especially when the dog has done so many good things for them and served them so well.
In this article, we will learn how to deal with the pain of losing a dog. However, there is no general method of healing, but the below tips are some of the most common ways of healing yourself from the loss of your dog:
- Never keep your feelings inside. Just as it is when you lose someone like a parent, significant other, sibling, best friend, neighbor, colleague, or anyone important in your life, don’t try to keep the pain inside, because it will only grow even more and possibly cause you serious problems. Holding in your feelings is neither a healthy nor a good solution in life. You can’t just say “oh it’s just a dog” because at some point, you have made memories with that dog and you can’t just ignore those memories, whether they were good or bad. One thing you can do is cry as necessary to ease the pain that sticks in your heart. Grieving is not bad; it is not a sense of being weak, but being strong because you are facing the pain and enduring it so that it never bothers you again. All of us face hard times, and dealing with them openly is important.
- Get comfort and/or support from other people. Consult and talk with your beloved ones, especially if they are dog lovers. As much as possible, don’t talk to non-dog lovers for the meantime because they might tend to hurt your feelings and ruin your healing process. You must only open up to those whom you know will understand how you feel about the loss of your dog. Try visiting other people with whom you made memories with your dog. You can talk with them about your experiences and feelings about the dog and get some healing advice as well. If you have pet organizations in your locality that offers free counseling on pet loss, then try that too, if you feel the need.
- Try getting a new dog. This might be a bit hard for those who definitely cannot get over their dog who just died. It is like “no, we’re not replacing him/her”, much like when a husband or wife dies and friends/colleagues/family members wants the man/woman to remarry. But actually, getting a new dog can also be quite helpful in relieving the stress made by the loss of your former dog. However, make certain that you still allow proper time in grieving for the lost dog first, otherwise you may not bond well with the new pet.
There are several things to keep in mind and watch for if you or someone you know has lost a beloved dog. An excerpt of an article in VetInfo.com also mentions the following:
Focus on maintaining good health habits, such as eating and sleeping well. Don’t give up on daily exercise such as walks or jogging, even if you would normally take your pet with you. It’s important to recognize when the grief has dramatically altered your life or the life of someone you know. If daily tasks have become difficult and usually pleasurable activities are no longer pleasing, help may be necessary.
Some signs that you or someone you know may need help include:
- Loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities
- Depressed, unpredictable or irritable mood
- Outbursts or excessive crying
- Unusual weight gain or loss
- Problems sleeping
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of excessive guilt
- Inability to focus
We hope that these tips can help pet owners get over their dog’s death and provide guidance and hope to them.
Have you recently lost a dog, and found dealing with it to be difficult?
My 16 year old dog passed away 4 days ago. It’s hard! I feel the loss of him constantly.
kristine de leonsays:
my baby quintin is just 5months old.. he was stricken with parvovirus and he just dies tonight! eventhough i only had him for less than three months it is still very painful for me and my family to lose him. i love him so much. i feel like this is the worst nightmare of my life! i miss him and i love him very very much!
I had to make that horrible decision for my furbaby, Tricky, last summer. It was so hard but it would have been selfish for me to not make that decision. One thing that I did that has helped. I picked one of my favorite spots in the yard to bury him. I have now been working on a memorial garden for him. It is right over top of him. I didn’t leave a spot to “mark” his grave but I did put up a memorial plaque in my garden that everyone who enters can see. I know he would have loved sitting up there with me in the evenings and that brings me a lot of comfort. After a year, I still miss him like crazy and I really don’t want another dog. I’ve had dogs for 40 years but he was just different. Anyway, sorry, as I was saying, sitting up in “our” garden in the evenings brings me a lot of comfort and makes me really remember the memories we made together.