The death of a pet is never easy. Even under the best of circumstances – where you know that your pet’s passing has been the culmination of a long and joyous life, and you’ve had ample time to prepare and say your good-byes – letting go of your best friend and constant companion of the time you spent together can seem impossible.
For some pet owners, the loss of a pet is felt as acutely as the loss of a close human friend or family member. And while others may not feel the loss as strongly, it is important to remember that the grief each of us feels is real, and should be honored for what it is.
Honoring Your Pet
For many of us, before we can fully move on in a healthy and productive way, paying some tribute to our four-legged friend is important. And while a full-scale funeral service is not necessarily in order (although that’s OK, if it’s what you want to do), there are many ways you can pay tribute to your pet when the time is right for you.
Here are a few ideas for celebrating your pet’s life:
- Create a pet-friendly remembrance garden full of pet-safe flowers, catnip, and grasses, and keep a bowl of fresh water in this spot as an oasis for animals in need
- Create an album of photos of your pet’s life and the time you spent together, look at it when you’re feeling blue (and even when you’re not)
- Make a donation to a pet-friendly charity or animal shelter in your pet’s name
- Write a tribute or an obituary to your pet and either tuck it away with your remembrances, or publish it to our Pet Memorial Wall or your Facebook page
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter
- Send a sympathy card to someone else you’ve know who has lost a pet recently
- Have a dinner party with your friends and celebrate your pet’s life with love and laughter
- Take a hike to your pet’s favorite spot and just sit awhile
However you choose to remember your pet, you will be happy you did. Your effort will lessen your pain and help you to move through the grieving process in a more healthy way.
And then, when you’re ready, adopt a new best friend into your heart and let your new pet nuzzle the last of your pain away.
We are sorry for your loss.