If you’re like many pet owners, your dog is an important part of your family. Just like your human family members, you’d love for your pup to be around forever. Unfortunately, dogs have relatively short lifespans compared to people and eventually we’ll have to let them go. While the death of a pet is always difficult, there are some things you can do to make the experience a little more bearable. Here are four tips for dealing with the loss of your dog:
1. Prepare yourself.
Sometimes our pets are taken before their time through car accidents or other sudden events. In that case, all you can do is try to keep your dog safe and hope for the best. However, if your pet is older or has a chronic illness, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for the possibility that your dog may not be around for much longer. That doesn’t mean you should sit around and wait for your pet to pass away. In fact, preparing yourself for his or her passing will allow you cherish each and every moment you have left with your precious pooch. Spend as much time as you can with your dog and be sure you make those last memories extra special.
2. Make a scrapbook or photo album for your pet.
Hopefully, you’ve taken lots of pictures of your dog throughout his or her life. Even if you haven’t, you can at least take some fun photos now. Once you’ve gathered up your favorite shots, place them in chronological order in a scrapbook or photo album. When your pet passes away, you’ll have something tangible you can hold on to as you grieve. You can look back at the happy, full life your dog led and remember all the good times you had together. Focusing on pleasant memories may help ease the pain of your loss during this difficult time.
3. Let yourself grieve.
When your dog finally does pass, it’s important to take the time to mourn. Don’t worry about what those without animals might think. Other dog owners understand that your pup was likely more than just a pet; he or she was a treasured friend and companion. It’s okay to feel sad and angry that your beloved buddy is no longer by your side. Cry, yell or do whatever you need to do to work through your grief. There’s no right or wrong way to mourn. Your relationship with your dog was unique and your grieving process will be just as distinctive.
4. Allow yourself to move on.
Once you’ve taken the time to grieve, you’ll eventually have to accept your loss and move on. While you’ll always miss your dog, the pain will most likely lessen with time. Some might find getting another pet right away to be too painful. Others may find adopting a new animal can help carry on your furry friend’s legacy. Remember that just because you get a new dog doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten about your old one. It just means that you’re moving forward with a new chapter of your life. After all, your pet likely loved you just as much as you loved him or her. Your dog would want you to be happy and look to the future.
Saying goodbye to a cherished pet is never easy. However, it’s a part of dog ownership that we all have to accept. Fortunately, there are some tips you can use to help you cope with your loss. With the advice on this list, you can let go without leaving your fond memories behind.