Starting Again After Pet Bereavement

Everyone who has ever owned a pet understands how quickly they can work their way under your skin, into your heart, and establish themselves as a reliable member of the household. Even if you did not intend for it to turn out that way, there is a good chance that it will regardless of whether or not you are aware of it. Animals have their own unique manner of expressing affection and sympathy for one another.

They make our lives easier by accepting us and being there for us, which makes it difficult to turn away from them. They are merciful, patient, understanding, and humorous, in addition to being many of the other qualities that we as humans require. It should come as no surprise that many childless couples feel the same way about their dogs as they do about their human offspring, regardless of whether or not their offspring have already left home.

It is very common for elderly people who live alone to have just their pets as a companion. In fact, the duty of caring for their pets as well as the company that their dogs bring is a major reason why their carers are still alive.

Unfortunately, animals do not have the same lifespan as humans.  In extraordinary cases, a dog can live up to 16 years.  The oldest dog documented holding the record for living the longest, died at age thirty.  But on average, the lifespan of a dog is between 8 and 12 years with fluctuation between breeds.  Their healthy, lifestyle and genetics also play a big role.

This leaves us with the dilemma that we know for certain we will more than likely outlive our dogs. How are we suppose to deal with this?

Prepare For The Inevitable

We can prepare our family, friends, and children when the time approaches for our beloved dog to leave us.  If your dog is suffering and your vet recommends euthanasia as a humane option, take time to let go.  Spend as much time as you need with your dog to say goodbye.

Take him one last time to his favorite place and spoil him with a good bath and massage if possible.  Make funeral arrangements, whether it is going to be a burial in your garden or cremation and keeping their ashes.  Prepare and be grateful that you have this option as many do not get to say goodbye. As soon as your dog reaches the senior stage, it is a very good idea to have a funeral plan in place.


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Allow Yourself Time To Mourn

When your beloved dog leaves your side, you have to allow yourself to mourn.  It is not silly to cry or to miss them as much as you would have missed a dear family member.  They were very much your family.  Go through the stages of mourning and take time for your heart to heal.  You can keep their memory alive with framed pictures or a memory box with their collar and favorite toy in.

See A Pet Bereavement Counselor

If you are struggling to move past the loss of your pet, there is professional help out there.  Pet bereavement councilors are very understanding and will know how to help you with your heartache. They will speak with you about your departed pet, share memories and help you to deal with your feelings of loss and grief. They will also help you deal with your reasons for getting a new pet or the fear of doing it again.

Some pet care professionals such as groomers, veterinarians, and veterinary assistants are trained in providing pet bereavement counseling.  If you are a friend of someone who has lost their pet you can encourage them to speak to a professional.  Sometimes just being there and listening is a great reassurance.

Getting A New Pet

When you think about getting a new pet, you should not let yourself feel that you are replacing your old one.  Don’t feel guilty or feel that by getting a new pet you are betraying your departed pet’s memory.  Reasons for getting a new pet is totally fine. Take time to mourn, heal and you will know when the time is right to get a new pet.

Reasons For Getting A New Pet

When you are able to think of your departed furry friend with a smile and fond memories, you will know that you are ready for a new adventure.  Think of all the reasons there are for getting a new pet! A new pet will keep you occupied, especially if you decide to get a puppy. 

Someone that had an elderly dog forgets very fast how much work and how naughty a new puppy sometimes can be.  The rewarding challenges of raising and socializing a pup can be a very good reason for getting a new pet.  Their love, affection, companionship and above all the wet nose kisses will make it all the worthwhile.

There is nothing that soothes the loss of a wet nose than the kiss of another.

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