Losing a furry friend
Posted February 22, 2018
many of us, pets are considered a part of the family. While no one
wants to think about their pet’s eventual death, it is an event
that all “parents” will face as loving pet owners.
Dr. Sarah Griffin, lecturer at the Texas A&M College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), said that
acknowledging your feelings toward your pet’s death is the first
step in healing.
Sometimes pet owners face guilt or loneliness when dealing with
their pet’s death. Pet owners may take the blame for accidents,
such as their pet being attacked by another animal or getting hit
by a car.
“Recognizing the way you handle grief is important,” Griffin
said. “Share your feelings with close friends and family so they
can support and encourage you.”
Cherishing memories with your pet can also help with grief.
Keeping pictures on shelves and other memorabilia of the pet can
help you remember your pet in a positive light.
Children can be especially affected by the loss of a pet.
Sometimes parents struggle with giving their children an
explanation of why the family pet is no longer around. Being honest
with children, providing emotional support, and holding a memorial
service for your pet can help children cope, according to
While losing a pet, either from natural causes or because of an
accident, can be hard, in some cases, owners are faced with
difficult decisions when their pet reaches an age or health
condition that no longer allows them to enjoy daily activities.
Euthanizing a pet is never an easy choice, but sometimes it may be
the best option for your pet.
“One of my professors in veterinary school said she tells
clients to pick the pet’s three favorite things, such as toys,
treats, or playtime activities,” Griffin explained. “When two out
of three of those things are gone, it’s time to let them go. Many
pets will continue to eat and drink even when they are in pain.
Keeping a daily record of good vs. bad days sometimes helps you see
the quality of life they are living.”
Pets provide unconditional love and have a unique way of making
us feel special. Losing a pet is never easy, so don’t be afraid to
look to others for support.
Pet Talk is a service of the Texas A&M College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Stories can be
viewed on the web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk. Suggestions for
future topics may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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