Thursday, October 09, 2014

Dealing With The Loss Of A Pet


Losing a pet can be hard since they are a part of the family. The pain of losing a family member can be severe and we all need to know how to deal with loss.

Is The Pain I feel Normal?

Severe pain over the loss of a pet can seem silly to people who don't have pets and won't or don't understand. They may tell you to just get another animal but we know that it's not that easy.

You should know it's absolutely natural to feel so much pain after the loss of a pet. You shouldn't hide your pain that is the worst thing you can do. Feel the love and loss of your pet and grieve for your pet.

I've had several hamsters and rats die after a long happy life and it never gets any easier. I've learned throughout the years that after the loss of a pet you need to let yourself feel the strong emotions from that loss.

If you had to take the animal to the veterinarian's office, you should take the advice my vet gave me when she saw how upset I was. She told me to remember how much happiness my little friend gave me and remember she was very happy with me and I did the right thing by ending her suffering.

When I took my hamster to the vet's office and had her euthanized it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it was also the right thing to do since I didn't want her to suffer.

You might feel guilt or anger after a pet's loss. The best thing is to examine what you are feeling instead of denying your pain, only then will you be able to work through your feelings.

What Can I do to help get through the grief of losing a pet?

I found that talking to others who have had to deal with the loss of a pet can help because they understand how you are feeling. There are any number of websites that have message boards and other people who are going through the same loss. For instance the Pet Loss Grief Support website is just one place online that would help others who are dealing with the loss of a pet.

The best way I found to deal with a pet's loss, is to have a small funeral for my pet. Whenever one of my hamsters or rats died I would put them in a small box and my family and I would find a nice place for him, say a few words and bury our little friend.

One time we took a ride out to Red Rock Canyon, here in Las Vegas and took a little walk until we found the right spot for our deceased pet.

Knowing that you have given them a happy life and loved them as much as they loved you and finding the perfect resting place for them helps you deal with their death.


  1. Great advice Mary. It really is so hard losing one and is amazing how quickly they can really become part of the family.

  2. Very helpful information. I have lost cats after long relationships and it is absolutely gruesome.

  3. I had to bring my dog to be put to sleep many years ago. It's never easy.

  4. Nothing easy about it indeed. But if they have a long happy life, it makes it a little easier

  5. Thanks for your advice, Mary. I work for two cat rescue operations and have 5 cats of my own. I am very attached to my cats and even the shelter cats, some of whom I don't even get to know very well. The loss of any of these animals pains my heart so much...just the other day a kitten in foster care passed away. I posted a memorial post to Facebook on behalf of the rescue organization and it did make me feel better. <3

  6. Anna- It really is.

    Steph- It's so hard to lose a family pet.

    Adam- Sorry to hear that. It never gets easier.

    Pat- It does make it easier knowing they were happy while they were here.

    Marci- Thank you for dropping by. Glad you found this post helpful.

  7. I have a particular song that I always play after I've lost a pet (Into the West by Annie Lennox from the final Lord of the Rings film). The words sum up that feeling of loss but there's also a sense of hope and contentment in there.

    With my ratties I've often gotten new ones quite soon after. Not in the sense of replacing the pet that has passed on but because they need company and I hate for them to be lonely. It also does benefit me though, you still miss the one that has died, but you have to focus energy on the new pet, getting them socialised and introduced which I think helps you to move on.


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