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How To Cope With The Loss Of a Pet

Updated on May 18, 2013

Pet Loss

Sometimes we can be closer to the animals in our lives than humans, so it is understandable that dealing with the loss of a pet is not an easy thing to do. Our pets do not ever judge us or intentionally hurt us. How do we deal with losing something so close to us? I have had many pets pass away, including cats and dogs, and it is never an easy thing to go through. I am going to tell you how I personally dealt with it, and give you some tips if you need help coping with the loss of your pet.

Rest in Peace to all of my furbabies<3

My Dog

It has been over 4 years since we had to put Phoebe to sleep. Phoebe was my amazing dog that I had for about 15 years. We adopted her from our local shelter. She was like my sister. I went through grade school, through middle school, and through high school with her. Its been over 4 years and I still think about her all the time.

That is why I have written this. I know what it feels like and have lost many companions. It is not an easy thing to do. Many people don't understand how a person can be so attached to their pet, but if you have ever had a pet, then you know how it is possible. They were a part of your family, and are still a part of your heart.

How to cope

Helpful Tips

1. Find Support:

When Phoebe passed away, I found an incredible website dedicated to helping people cope with the loss of their pet. It helped me so much to talk with people who cared and understood what I was going through. The people on the website never judge. They give you support and will talk with you about how you are feeling. If you are interested in getting support from people online who will listen, visit Pet Loss website and the message board link is Pet Loss Message Board. If you have someone that you can talk to in person that is great too.

2. Cry:

Let out your pain. Yes, you can cry. Its okay to not hold everything inside. Cry until you can't cry anymore. It is part of the healing process. I cried for weeks before and weeks after Phoebe passed away. I still cry to this day when I think about her. Your tears only show how much you deeply care about your pet.

3. Make a memorial:

Any type of memorial will do. I gathered every picture that I could find of Phoebe and put them into a blog online. My boyfriend also got me a photo album and put all of her pictures in it as a surprise. I now I have a whole photo album dedicated to her. Looking back on the good times will put a smile on your face. You gave your pet love and happiness. Looking back on those memories will make you happy!

Here is a great way to make an easy memorial for your pet. Go to True Friends Memorial to make a memorial about a cat, dog, other animal, or even a person.

4. Write:

Writing can really help you cope with the loss of a pet. Get a journal or start a blog online. You have to let out your feelings and writing is a great way to do that.

5. Don't dwell on the bad things:

There are things every pet owner wishes they didn't do - or they wish they did some things differently. I know I do. Regret is a part of life, but there were probably more good things to remember than bad. So don't dwell on the bad. Focus on the good! Your pet loves you unconditionally and they know you love them too.

6. Know your pet is in a better place:

They are not suffering anymore and they are in a better place.

Books to help you heal

These are some books to help you cope with the loss of your pet.


You made their life better...

Many animals don't get to feel the love of a human or a warm hug. You gave your pet something so many don't get to experience. You will never forget them, but they want you to be happy. Keep living your life, and don't forget the paw print they left on your heart :)

Retrieving The Ball

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Feel free to leave a memory, thought, or just over-all comment here at the guestbook.

Leave your comments here :)

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i lost my dog homer to cancer afew weeks ago he was 12 we all miss him sooooooooo much and life will never be the same again i hope he is happy now and that my mother looks after him this is the worst thing that ever happend to us

    • kateclough lm profile image

      kateclough lm 

      7 years ago

      petloss,com is an amazing community of good people from all over the world. They were my main support when I lost a dog 2 1/2 years ago. I'm still active there and have made many friends. I'm very happy to see that you've given EdW, his tireless devotion to maintaining the site &amp; all the great people of petloss a shout out! Great job! THANKS! kate

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I lost my nearly 11 year old Alaskan Malamute, Khomik, on Friday and I am lost. My everyday life really revolved around him. I live alone and always woke up at 5 to walk him and his uncle (I lost his uncle 2 plus years ago) would come home for lunch each day and come home for dinner each evening. Now he is gone and I don't know what to do.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a great post. Im sorry for everyones loss. I had been looking for ways to cope with pet loss after our family dog recently passed. His name was Rascal, (Sheppard mix) and like most families he meant so much to my kids. While my wife and I were upset over the loss, we were obviously concerned about the children. I wanted to find a way to immortalize our great friend Rascal, respectfully. I found a great site which offers different ways to remember and cherish your beloved pet. I eventually decided to go with a Photo Blanket for the kids, with our favorite pictures of Rascal. It really brought out a positive memory for our children. I just thought this may be of use to some of your families as well:

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I lost my dog, a German Sheppard on January this year. It was an agony seeing him suffer. Spent many days on vets trying to make him better until one of them told me it was time to let it go... Today I regret not taking that decision more soon of putting my dog to sleep sooner instead of giving everything to make him better... I guess I was still hoping he would be ok soon.

      The true is he was already too old. He had a life full of good things and was a faithful friend to the end... I will miss him forever...

      I am getting emotional now... seriously... tears are coming my way so I know what you are passing now...

      My cat, gave me the comfort when my dog passed way...

      I am truly sorry for your loss. A well written lens.

      Best of luck to you.


      remember, things will be better even if you dont believe it now.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Sweet lens. Sad lens. But a necessary and helpful lens. The grief we feel is real and needs to be respected. "The death of a pet can trigger a grief response that is as deeply felt as when a friend or family member dies." -Michael Murphy

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 

      8 years ago from USA

      I know what it is like to lose a pet, and it is like losing a family member. This is a wonderful resource for helping those who seek comfort and support through the grieving process.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      8 years ago

      A lovely tribute to your best friend. Angel blessed.

    • delia-delia profile image


      8 years ago

      Lovely lens on a subject that is close to my heart...I have a very hard time getting over the loss of my pets...My last two horses where 29 and they died a couple of years ago and yet I still cry...29 years is a long tome to have an animal.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      OMG, I am thinking that getting support can help, but it is TIME to get over a pet's loss because so many things can remind you of your pet. For some reason, a pet just stays and stays there in our memories.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Good job on this lense! You made a very touching and informative page for anyone dealing with the loss of a pet! My dog died over a year ago and it is still very upsetting for me!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens! You share a lot of very helpful information and resources here. When you have the chance, please stop by my lens on animals in heaven and say hello.

    • Jack2205 profile image


      9 years ago

      I just lost my cat. This is a wonderful lens.

    • heyniceaddress profile image


      9 years ago

      You've done an incredible job with your lenses. Keep up the good work =)

    • sunnysideup lm profile image

      sunnysideup lm 

      9 years ago

      Thank you for this wonderful lens. I too found the Pet Loss website a comforting place when my Bailee died. Posting a tribute in remembrance of Bailee, and also reading the tributes from other grieving pet parents was a great source of comfort.

    • AppalachianCoun profile image


      9 years ago

      Wonderful lens. We just lost our dog last month. It is hard to go through, that is true.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      9 years ago from Northern California

      Welcome to the Grief &amp; Loss Club.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My little kitty is sick now and unfortunately won't get better :( So this will help me a lot when I eventually lose him. 5 *

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I think about this quite a bit as my beloved Sassy (Sassafrass) gets older. She's 11 now and hopefully has quite a few more years with us, but as I see some signs of her aging (more white around the muzzle, a little slower on hikes and tiring sooner) I can't help but be aware of her mortality. I really do love her like a she's a child. Anyhow, I really like your lens. Great job!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      We have lost pets too and it's always like losing a member of the family...I guess because they are.



    • Maxxamillion profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago

      Love your lens. Great tips on dealing with the lose of a pet. Lensroll and fav, in memory of Phoebe.

      Love Maxxamillion

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi - I like your lens, some very good tips. I lensrolled it to my pet loss lens too.


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