We usually outlive our pets; it is a known fact! Have you ever wondered why we put ourselves through the hardship of losing a pet in death? Just, how do we say goodbye to our much-loved pet?
Nobody likes to imagine that inevitable day. I don’t think I have met anyone who likes talking about death. Many people find the topic distressing, sad and uncomfortable. It is, however, something that happens to all of us, and, as much as we would love to have our much-loved animals beside us forever, it is also something which, sadly, happens to them also.
We can often become concerned about how we may cope when that day arrives, and there may be other people who don’t want to think about it at all simply because it’s too painful to imagine.
Being prepared for that inevitability dreaded day, however, may help us to be better able to cope with the loss when it does occur.
Research has shown, the level of grief experienced from the loss of a pet has been found to be very similar to the grief experienced when a human loved one passes away.
How Do We Emotional Prepare When Loose a Pet?
Being prepared means many things to many people. There are emotional, spiritual, and practical ways to prepare.
Being prepared doesn’t mean that you have given up, stopped caring and no longer love your pet. It means that, as sad and as painful as it will be, you feel you are ready.
Saying goodbye to a beloved pet can be a difficult and emotional experience. It's important to take the time to process your feelings and say goodbye in a way that feels right for you and your pet.
Knowing When It's Time to Say Farewell to Your Pet
Spend quality time with your pet: Take some time to simply be with your pet. Hold them, pet them, and talk to them. This can be a special time to express your love and appreciation for all the joy and companionship they have brought into your life.
Do activities that you have always wanted to share with your pet but never found the time. Write down a bucket list of activities you and your beloved pet can do together to make the most of their time here.
1. Consider saying goodbye at home:
Many pets feel more comfortable and at ease in their own familiar surroundings. If possible, consider having a veterinarian come to your home to say goodbye.
2. Create a memorial:
Consider creating a memorial to honour your pet's memory. This could include a photo album, a special piece of jewellery, or a framed picture to display in your home.
3. Seek support:
Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or a professional counsellor if you are struggling with your emotions. There are also many support groups available for pet owners who are dealing with loss.
4. Take care of yourself:
Remember to take care of yourself during this difficult time. Try to eat well, get enough rest, and take time for self-care activities that bring you comfort and peace.
5. Consider a final goodbye ritual:
Some pet owners find comfort in holding a special ceremony or ritual to say goodbye to their pet. This could involve lighting candles, saying prayers, or simply spending time in quiet reflection. Preparing emotionally and spiritually may also mean reflecting on what your beloved companion means to you.
What are your favourite memories of your time together and what can you learn from their life here with you? Spending some time reflecting on these moments can help you find meaning in the impending loss.
6. Seek closure:
Some pet owners find it helpful to see their pet after they have passed away. If this is something that you think would bring you closure, ask your veterinarian if they offer this service.
7. Reach out to others who knew your pet:
If your pet had a special relationship with friends, family members, or even other pets, consider reaching out to them to share memories and offer support.
8. Honour your pet's legacy:
Consider making a donation to a pet-related charity or volunteering your time at an animal shelter in honour of your pet. This can be a way to keep their memory alive and make a positive impact in the world.
9 Take your time:
Grief is a personal and individual process. Take the time you need to grieve and don't let anyone rush you through it. Be patient and kind to yourself as you work through your feelings and adjust to life without your beloved pet.
Be There For Your Pet When They Pass
There is nothing more important to your beloved companion is for you to be with them when they take their last breath. As hard as it may be this is not the time to abandon you dog, they want you around as always.
Bevolved Pet Farewells and Making Decisions
It may be useful to start thinking about how you might like to say goodbye to your beloved companion. The day your companion animal dies may be a sad and distressing time and it can be hard to make decisions like these on the day or shortly after. It may, therefore, be worthwhile discussing and researching your options in preparation for the sad day so when it does happen, you can concentrate on caring for yourself and getting the support you need, during what will be a difficult time.
When We Have to Say Goodbye to Our Pets
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to cope with the loss of a pet. Writing about your experiences can help you process your emotions and provide comfort to others who have experienced similar losses.
Losing a pet can be a devastating experience for many people. A dog is often considered a member of the family and their death can leave a significant void. It is important to remember that it is okay to grieve the loss of your furry friend and to take the time to process your emotions.
Remember that everyone deals with loss differently, so allow yourself to grieve in your own way and at your own pace. With time, the pain will ease, and you will be able to cherish the memories of your beloved pet.
Personal Pet Experience At Farmer Pete’s
Just within the last year we at Farmer Pete’s have lost three of our much-loved pets in death. Two dogs and one cat, Samson 14yrs, Miz 15 years and Sox 20.6 years. We knew they were getting older and anticipated the day with dread. However, taking on advice from others we mentally prepared ourselves and with the help of an understanding Vet made it a little easier. We chose to have all three buried on our property, on a hill overlooking us all (as they did for many years). Surrounded by family each time we planted a tree on top.
To this day the trees are always referred to as Samsons, Miz’s or Sox’s tree. Our family always talk about these three with such fond memories and often show photos of them all. Their photos are still featured in our blogs and website.
Some Ways to Cope with the Loss of a Pet Dog:
Share memories: Reflect on the special moments you shared with your dog and what made them unique.
Express your feelings: Write about how you're feeling and the impact your dog had on your life.
Pay tribute: Honour your dog's memory by sharing photos, videos, or other mementos.
Offer comfort: If you have friends or followers who have also lost a pet, offer words of encouragement or share your experience in coping with the loss.
Encourage others to share: Invite others to share their own memories or experiences of their pets who have passed away.
Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions: This can be through crying, journaling, or talking to friends and family.
Create a memorial or tribute to your dog: This can be through making a scrapbook, planting a tree (like we did), or creating a photo album.
Seek support from others who have experienced the loss of a pet: This can be through online support groups or through counselling.
Become a volunteer: Consider volunteering at a local animal shelter or rescue organization. This can help you feel connected to animals and provide a sense of comfort and purpose.
Grieve and Pet Loss
Remember that healing from the loss of a pet takes time and everyone grieves in their own way. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself the space. You may wish to also consider options for cremation or burials as well as ways to memorialise and keep your pet’s memory close.
Losing a beloved pet is never easy. When a dog dies, it can leave a huge hole in our hearts and homes. They bring us joy, love, and comfort, and their passing can leave us feeling lost and lonely.
No matter how you choose to grieve, it's important to remember that grieving the loss of a pet is a natural and valid experience, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. it's also important to allow yourself the time and space to process your feelings and memories. Your pet was an important part of your life, and they deserve to be remembered and honoured in a way that feels meaningful to you.
We at Farmer Pete’s still have other dogs, and they are individually loved and have never replaced our love lost. We love them just the same and again dread the day we must go through it all again.
Time does heal, but we never forget.
“Someone asked me what the most difficult thing was about having a dog. I replied – The goodbye”