When a person you love dies, it's natural to feel sorrow, express grief, and expect friends and family to provide understanding and comfort.
Unfortunately, the same doesn't always hold true if the one who died was your companion animal. Many consider grieving inappropriate for someone who has lost "just a pet." Nothing could be further from the truth.
People love their pets and consider them members of their family. Caregivers celebrate their pets' birthdays, confide in their animals, and carry pictures of them in their wallets. So when your beloved pet dies, it's not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your sorrow.
Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love during the time they share with you. If you understand and accept this bond between humans and animals, you've already taken the first step toward coping with pet loss: knowing that it is okay to grieve when your pet dies.
Understanding how you grieve and finding ways to cope with your loss can bring you closer to the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears.
Following are a few resources that may help in a time of need. Please know that you are not alone during the grieving process.
ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline: (877)474-3310
MSU Pet Loss Support Hotline: (517)432-2696