Getting Through the Grief: Navigating Pet Loss

Dealing with pet loss.

Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates know how much a part of your family your pet is. Losing them can be devastating, and the grief and pain that ensues can be very difficult. Pet loss is a topic that deserves discussion, and understanding how to navigate the grief can help devoted animal lovers through a very tough time. 

Dealing with the Grief

Grief is a very normal response to loss. When the loss is as special as a beloved pet, it can be even more intense. The feelings of shock, anger, and even depression during mourning are all common occurrences. It is possible to heal after immense loss, but it can be a long and hard road. 

It is important to allow yourself to grieve. There are people who feel embarrassed or ashamed of strong emotions related to pet loss, but animals hold a very special place in our hearts. Their loss can be just as devastating as any other. 

For some, the weight of a decision to euthanize can add to the emotions. We are here to help guide you in this choice. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance. 

During the grief associated with pet loss, it is important to take care of yourself. Surrounding yourself with a good support system is very important. There are some very good resources available to help those who need support: 

We are always here if you need to talk as well.

Honoring Your Pet

Honoring your pet’s memory can also be a good coping mechanism to allow yourself some closure and healthy feelings.

Honoring your pet’s memory doesn’t need to be complicated. Sometimes a simple action can be very rewarding. Consider:

  • Sharing memories–Have a get together virtually or in-person with friends and family who knew your pet. Share your favorite memories and what the pet meant to each of you. Writing down your own stories or making a scrapbook to reflect on the memory of your pet can also be a special task. 
  • Sharing the love–Making sure that something good comes from your pet’s passing can be rewarding. A charitable donation to a rescue, charity, research organization, or local veterinary school in your pet’s name can be a great way to share. Alternatively, consider donating your time and effort by volunteering in a local shelter or other place where animals are in need.
  • Making a keepsake–Something tangible to remember your pet by can be quite comforting. Consider a stuffed animal, painting, or figurine that represents your pet. You can also have a piece of jewelry made out of his or her identification tag, make a clay paw print, or incorporate some fur into a bracelet. There are even companies that will use your pet’s nose print to create jewelry or create a pendant from your pet’s cremains.
  • Create a memorial–Set aside a shelf or table in your home to display a favorite picture of your pet and light a candle. Some find meditating on their pet’s memory to be helpful. You can also light a virtual candle on our website in honor of your beloved pet. 

Pet loss is a difficult aspect of pet ownership. Please know, though, that you are not alone. Everyone experiences grief and loss differently, and we are here to help you through that process, no matter what it is.