The loss of a dog can be as devastating as the loss of a loved one. It comes with a lot of grief, sadness, sorrow and sometimes can be difficult to cope with. We deal with losses differently; the extent of grief you will feel will depend on the age of the dog, the circumstances of the death, the closeness between you and dog, the role of your dog and so on. While it is inevitable not to feel grief for the loss of a dog there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that comes with such loss.
1. Talk to someone: talking to someone can help you deal with the loss of a dog. Find someone who appreciated your dog and cares about you to talk to. Talk about how you feel, what you miss about your dog and your memorable moments with your dog, just talk it out.
2. Deal with your feeling of guilt: It is normal to feel guilty for the loss of a dog. Most times you think if you had done this or that or if you had acted in this way the dog would have survived. You need to understand that there was nothing you could have done to keep them alive. Accept that they are gone and devise means to move on.
3. Create a legacy: you can create a sort of memorial to honor and express your love for your pet. Whether planting a tree, cremate their remains, compiling a photo album or any such thing, it helps you express your feelings for the dog and can help you to eventually move on.
4. Don’t replace your dog immediately: I know the house might feel empty and quiet but it’s best to take your time before adopting a new dog. You need to deal with your emotions and work through your loss and grief if not you might end up resenting the new pet for trying to replace your old dog. Whenever you feel you’re ready to adopt a new dog, it’s advisable to take one with a different breed and even color so that you don’t end up comparing both dogs.
5. Volunteer at a local animal shelter: sometimes we need to help other people with their griefs to move past ours. Helping other animals by showing love and care can be a good way to heal and move past your grief plus it helps you decide if you’re ready to adopt a new dog.
6. Seek professional help: if the grief is persistent and affects other areas of your life, then it is best to seek professional help. A doctor or mental health professional can help you deal better with grief.
Dealing with the loss of a dog is never easy, it can take a long process to heal completely. While the above tips are not exhaustive, they are helpful and can help you effectively deal with the loss of a dog.