Pet Loss is a hard topic to digest. After all, we love our Fidos and felines. They become family members and through sickness and health we cherish their company. Sadly, animals have a shorter life than humans and pet owners must realize they’ll encounter illness and own age. While dealing with pet loss is the ultimate sense of sadness there are other difficult decisions and emotionally draining situations such as whether or when to euthanize a very sick animal to provide a dignified death.
When a beloved animal has provided us with loyalty and love as we have reciprocated, dealing with pet loss is never an easy matter-of-fact topic. Some of the decisions are the most difficult to deal with so it’s important to be educated and aware of humane options when dealing with pet loss.
First and foremost, when dealing with pet loss – whether it’s after a long illness or an accidental death – grief is normal. It’s natural and necessary to grieve for the loss of your pet as it is for a loved one who passes away. During the grieving period it’s important to have support from family and friends as you display your compassion for your pet.
There are other emotions which need to be dealt with during pet loss such as confusion, anger, guilt, and sadness. When dealing with pet loss, it may be helpful to talk to your veterinarian and even a health counselor. In fact, the ASPCA has a Pet Loss Support Program which can help you in the following: assistance with the decision to euthanize, comfort and support at the time of euthanasia, helping with grieving the loss, advice on helping your children, the elderly or disabled individuals face the death, planning for the body of the animal after the death, helping the surviving animals cope in the household, establishing a relationship with a new pet, and more.
For more information about dealing with pet loss please contact your local veternarian.