Coping with the loss of your dog is a difficult thing to do. As dog owners, and above all as dog lovers, we become very attached to our dogs. And so the grief and sorrow we feel when they pass away is deep and painful. There can be lots of tears and a real feeling of shock and distress.
There can also be a lack of sleep, which only adds to our feelings of depression and sadness.
We may also feel guilty too, especially if we had to have our beloved dog euthanized. We may second guess ourselves and start thinking that maybe if we’d just waited a little longer, or tried a different course of action, then the outcome would have been better. Of course, thinking like this is nearly always wrong but that doesn’t make it any easier not to think it.
And then there’s often feelings of anger at the unfairness of it all, too.
There are some things we can do to cope in these sad situations though, to give us hope for the future and to help us to move on. Of course, things will still be very tough at first and there’s not much to be done about that. It’s only natural to be devastated.
But it’s important to know that things will get easier as time goes by. Here’s a few tips to help you in coping with the loss of your dog.
How to cope with the loss of your dog
Firstly, just spending time with loved ones can help greatly with the grieving process. This is just as true when mourning your dog as when mourning the loss of a human member of the family. You can talk about the good times you had with your pet, and go over the wonderful memories with each other. Talk about days out and trips, summer days spent in the park and so on. And look at photographs of happy times spent with your dog.
Trying to take your mind off things can also help. You can do this by making sure you stay busy; maybe going out for day trips or attending events. Or maybe go to a pet bereavement group if there are any in your area.
Physical exercise is also good for taking the weight off your mind. The natural result of exercising is to increase your feeling of mental well-being. And of course, it’s also good for you physically too.
It’s important to continue to look after yourself during the grieving process. So you have to make sure you continue to eat the right things too. And keep in contact with friends and family if you’re separated from them.
And when you do think about your dog, don’t just remember the sad ending. Make sure you think about all the great times and experiences you had together. Remembering the happy times will naturally help to make you feel a bit better.
Another thing you can do that can help greatly when it comes to coping with the loss of your dog is to memorialize them. There are some wonderful pet cemeteries where you can lay your dog to rest and visit them on a regular basis. Or you can scatter their ashes somewhere special to you both.
And another option is to plant a tree in their memory. You can do this in your own garden if you have the space, or you can make a donation to an organization in their memory.
You can also find online pet memorial websites where you can get help and support from the community there. Rainbow Bridge is a great example of such a site.
And there’s also the Rainbow Bridge poem, which is a beautiful and moving poem about what happens to pets when they die and can be a real source of comfort:
Rainbow Bridge poem
There is a bridge connecting heaven and Earth.
It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge is a land of meadows, hills and valleys, all of it covered with lush green grass.
When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this lovely land. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. There, the old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole once more. They play all day with each other, content and comfortable.
There is only one thing missing. They are not with the special person who loved them on Earth. So each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up! Then, the nose twitches! The ears are up! The eyes are staring! You have been seen, and that one suddenly runs from the group.
You take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.
Then, together, you cross the Rainbow Bridge, never again to be separated.
Coping with the loss of your dog is never easy. It’s natural to be devastated and grief-stricken. It’s important to be aware though that as time goes by things will get easier. And following the advice in this article will help with that process, and help you to remember your dog as they deserve to be remembered.