Today, about 65 percent of U.S. households own a pet, a number that continues to grow each year. Those pets – mostly cats and dogs – have become true members of the family. People post photos of their pets on social media, they include their pets in holiday greeting card photos, dress their pets up for Halloween and spare no expense on toys, food and medical care for their pets.
In short: pets should be treated like people too. So when it comes time to say good-bye to a beloved family pet, it’s a difficult experience filled an overwhelming sense of loss. People grieve in many different ways so there’s no right or wrong way to deal with the loss of a pet, but here are 5 tips to dealing with the loss of a pet.
1. Give yourself permission to feel sad.
Some people may want to say, “Oh, it was just a dog.” But to you that pet was a very real part of your life, your family and your memories. It’s OK to grieve. Some families feel the urge to fill the void with a new pet to replace the old too soon. Give yourself time to cope and feel those emotions of sorrow and when everyone in the family is ready, talks of a new pet can be discussed.
2. Don’t blame yourself.
If you had to make the very difficult decision to euthanize your pet, you may have the added burden of guilt. Remember, you made the very best decision for your pet in consultation with your veterinarian, and euthanasia is humane and painless. Don’t question your decision. Believe that you made the right choice and know they are no longer suffering.
3. Talk to your kids about loss and grief.
If you have young children, it’s possible they haven’t known life without your family pet. So, be mindful of their feelings, especially if this is their first experience with loss. Give them time to grieve as well as talk about those happy moments with their pet. ( See additional tips for how to talk to children about grief .)
4. Reach out to others who have dealt with the loss of a pet.
Find a support group or even friends who lost their pets over the years. You can talk openly about your sadness to people who will truly understand and may even have some helpful suggestions about dealing with your grief. See if they organized funeral or cremation arrangements and if that helped with the loss process.
5. Celebrate the memories.
Everyone has adorable photos of their pets and stories about funny things they did over the years. Honor them by sharing those stories or having a memorial service. Gather with your family and maybe some select close friends to give your pet a heartfelt sendoff. You can even utilize a local funeral to help you host and plan the service.
Stuhr Funeral Home , a trusted name in funeral service for more than 150 years, has proudly chosen Pet Rest Cremation Service as their preferred pet loss care provider in the Lowcountry community. Together, they’re dedicated to providing the best and most professional care for their clients during their time of grieving and healing.
This service provides individuals with several options, including private and separate cremation. You can also from a variety of urn styles and even to best memorialize your beloved pet.
Losing a pet is hard. It can be tough to come home to a quiet house where once a four-legged friend greeted you with such joy. Take time to acknowledge your loss and give yourself some time and space to grieve. In time, your sadness will be outweighed by all those happy memories of your companion.
You love your pets, and the staff at Stuhr Funeral Home loves theirs, too. They understand that pets often become part of the family. That’s why they proudly partner with Pet Rest Cremation Service to provide pet loss care to the Lowcountry funeral home community. No matter who you’ve lost, the team at Stuhr’s is dedicated to planning a service with the best and most professional private cremation possible during times of grieving and healing.
Stuhr Funeral Home has been a trusted name in funeral services for more than 150 years. Eliminate the stress of planning, learn about the financial benefits of preplanning and take advantage of our custom tailored recommendations. For more information, visit JHenryStuhr.com or call (843) 723-2524.
*Pet Loss Support Group
When you need help and support to cope with the loss of a beloved furry friend, turn to Pet Rest. Their Pet Loss Support Group meets the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. Visit Pet Rest Cremation Service to find a comfortable space to gather with folks who are experiencing similar grief.
When: 7:00 PM – 2nd Tuesday of the month
Where: 132 Redbank Road, Goose Creek, SC 29445
RSVP: (843) 797-5735