Having a pet teaches you many lessons about life, and about many factors and people living it. Pets are largely considered as members of families, and losing one can have the same impact as losing a relative. As a family, and as individuals, it is important to treat such a loss as any other- carefully, patiently and realistically. While it certainly is not an easy process, it is not a helpless process by any means.

Loss of a loved one is one of those things that every individual reacts to differently. In this case, how closely an individual interacts with a pet often determines how they react to its absence. So, someone who has a strong bond with a family pet will be immensely affected by its death. Grief is a normal and automatic response to loss which manifests in a specific order. Denial, the initial reaction, is closely followed by blame, which is expressed toward others through anger or toward oneself through guilt. Soon comes acceptance, which allows grief to resonate and, later, dissipate. However, it is typically regarded that, as an adult, it is easier to understand and cope with loss.

As parents and role models, it is important to grieve openly so as to create an environment where children will feel comfortable doing the same. Participate in many discussions about emotions concerning the loss and even encourage children to express themselves more in-depth through writing, as well. Make it clear to children that no one (especially them) is responsible for the animal’s death. Explain that their presence is one that is longstanding and consider methods to represent this notion, such as taxidermy, orin North and South Carolina, pet cremation is a popular option. Parents can, also, help children cope with grief by going through photo albums and looking back on happy memories with the pet interacting with them.

After the death or loss of a pet, it is normal for families to feel a great sense of emptiness or melancholy. As normal routines, which were once altered to suit the needs of a pet, are forced to change, it is common to miss their presence, personality and even the little noises they made around the house. During this transitional time, it is a good idea to consider a new pet addition to the family. After allowing the family ample time to grieve as necessary, introduce the option of obtaining another pet.

Recovering from a loss is undoubtedly difficult. It is important to understand that feeling strongly- no matter what the feeling may be- is normal and it is okay. Take things day by day and allowyourself to react as you feel necessary and the feelings of loss will ease with time.