Losing a person in your life is heartbreaking, so much so that the feeling defies description for many. Losing a pet is also incredibly hard. If you have more than one pet and the two have lived together for many years, and particularly if they’re close, you might find yourself faced with more than human grief. Animals are sentient; they can grieve, too. That is why a book like Where the Red Fern Grows breaks so many hearts; we can all imagine the pain of losing beloved animals, and it’s made even worse when the animals left behind can’t survive the grief. Helping a heartbroken pet doesn’t necessarily mean ignoring your own pain. Rather, the two of you can come through it together.
Spend More Time with Your Pet
Sometimes, the best way we can deal with loss is to keep busy. This can be true for your grieving pet, too. If your pet shows signs of what could be grief like noticeable lethargy, start with a visit to the vet. Make sure that nothing is physically wrong. When you’re there, talk to the vet about the recent death. He or she may have some recommendations, too.
Then, start by spending more time with your pet. It could be the perfect antidote to grief for both of you. While it may not work wonders immediately, making more time to go for walks, play with toys, and even cuddling could work wonders. It could serve to distract you, and to remind you both, in your own ways, that life goes on. Exercise releases endorphins, which is also great for the depression that can sometimes accompany grief. As for the extra downtime spent together, it’s comforting; it helps remind you both that, though your loved one is gone, you’re not alone.
Adopting a new pet may not be an option for you when you’re grieving; it may simply be too soon. However, if you do find yourself open and willing, it could be what you and your pet need to move on. You don’t want to do it without considerable thought and preparation; do what you can to make sure that your current pet won’t react badly.
Grief is a difficult thing for both you and your pet. You can get through it together. Anytime you’re concerned about your pet’s well-being, bring him to us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We can help.