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Coping with the Death of a Dog

According to the latest surveys, approximately 70% of households in the US, which is over 90 million homes, have a pet. People bring a dog home for various reasons – for companionship, to be more social, as a playmate for kids, to cope with stress, to get more exercise, just to name a few.

But while a dog can bring unlimited joy and unconditional love to your life, there’s a good chance you will outlive your furry friend. This means at some point in time you will have to cope with the death of your dog. Here are some tips on what do if you’re dealing with the loss of a pet.

Grieving the death of a dog is valid

You might be an emotional wreck after your dog dies. Remember that this intense sorrow you’re feeling is not unusual or abnormal. If you feel devastated by the loss of your pet, your grief is valid. The truth is that dogs are like members of the family. To some people, they can be the most important member of the family. That’s why it’s important to normalize the grief you feel when a pet dies.

Grief looks different in different people

You might have a friend who bounced back pretty quickly from the loss of a dog. But that doesn’t mean your grieving journey will be the same. You will likely start to feel better as time goes on, but it’s impossible to predict a timeline for when this will happen. Just take one day at a time and know that every person goes through the stages of grief in a unique way.

Creating physical memories helps

One of the best ways to remember a beloved pet is through physical memories like photographs. You can also save your dog’s collar and tags. If your dog is buried in your backyard, you can plant a special bush or place a statue or figurine as remembrance. Other heartwarming pet memorials that can spark loving memories include a framed copy of the poem The Rainbow Bridge, a windchime with your dog’s photo on it, a customized photo blanket, a memorial candle, or a piece of jewelry such as a charm bracelet.

Support groups can provide solace

Many people like to grieve privately. However, if you feel like talking with other people might help, consider joining a support group for people who have lost a beloved pet. You can join an in-person group in your community or a forum on the internet that welcomes people from all over the world. Keep in mind that every member of your household, including any other pets you have, need comforting. For kids, this may be their first experience with death and can be quite scary. Support groups can help you understand how best to support each member of your family in dealing with the grief of losing a beloved dog.

Welcoming another pet into your family is a step forward

Nothing can ever replace your beloved dog. But when you’re ready, bringing home another pet can help to fill some of the void created by a dog who died. You will likely not feel ready to get another dog right away. There’s no fixed timeline, but most people experience acute grief for 1-2 months after the loss of a dog. You will know when you’re ready. Welcoming another puppy into your family can keep you busy. What with puppy proofing your home and caring for the little one, you won’t have time to ruminate about your loss.

Puppy Hero can help you find an adorable little puppy that will fill your heart and home with joy. We have personally verified each breeder on our site to ensure you bring home a happy, healthy puppy that will provide years of companionship.

20 August, 2022