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Death is a natural part of life, that does not mean that it hurts any less. A pet becomes more than an animal; they become our loved ones, extra family members that bring us love, light, and joy. This is why many pet owners feel so lost when their beloved pet passes on. The purpose of the tips below is to aid you in your time of grief and provide you with some comfort.

It’s Not Your Fault 

One of the most important things to keep at the forefront of your thoughts is that this is not your fault. We all have time on this Earth, and we all pass on, once that time has come to an end. There is nothing that you can to do control this timing, so do you not blame yourself. This statement is specifically directed to pet owners who may have to euthanize their pet. Putting down your beloved companion is never easy and it may come with regrets or feelings of uncertainty. If this is the case, you must remember that the sacrifices you made were to exempt your pet from any more strife and suffering; to provide them with peace and freedom. In no way, does this constitute you being an unfit provider. Prolonging your pet’s suffering to avoid your own is not helping you or them. It is best to allow your veterinarian to assess the health of your pet and determine when the proper time is put them down. Vets are even willing to work with affected families to accommodate for their feelings by; performing the injections at home or even allowing families to be present in the clinic to spend their last moments with the beloved animals. 

Emotions as Experiences

Emotions are the most natural part of grief. We all experience grief very differently and for different periods of time. The most common emotions associated with grief are the following:

  • Denial: This emotion makes it very had to cope with the fact that your animal is actually gone. Imagining life going on without them is extremely impossible for some owners so they continue to live life as if their pet is still alive. 
  • Anger: Anger may come in different ways for different people. Owners become mad at the illness that killed their pet, they become mad with themselves for allowing this to happen, even with their veterinarians for there not being a cure. Without being resolved, this misplaced anger can become unhealthy. 
  • Depression: This is a very consequential emotion because it can be very long term if not dealt with properly. Depression can leave pet owners feeling hopeless, lost, and even powerless. 
  • Guilt: Guilt will trick an owner into thinking all of this suffering and death is directly and solely their fault. This goes back to the previous section to remind pet owners that this is not your fault and the self-blame is not going to bring your animal back to life or even make you feel better. 

It’s Okay to Seek Help

It may be very beneficial to you and your family to seek counseling on how to move past this tragic time in your life. Talking to other pet owners who may have lost a pet can help you process your emotions and gain some solace during your grieving process. Find someone you are comfortable speaking with, so that you can find healthy ways to manage your emotions. You can also reach out to your local vet clinic or animal humane association to seek counseling from a support group or therapist.  

How Early is too Early for a New Pet?

This is a complicated question. It is understandable that you may be seeking closure or love; however, a new pet so soon can be a huge distraction from dealing with your loss. Give yourself time, because this is a new relationship that you may not be emotionally prepared to build and maintain. There is no correct answer to this question; you will know in your heart when you are ready for a new animal. The only things that should be similar between your pets are the same amount of love and commitment from you. 

Death is never easy. You don’t have to experience this alone either. Our expert team at Oceanside Veterinary Clinic can assist in diagnosing your pet, euthanization services, recommending counseling, and any other questions and concerns. 

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