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Here are some tips to help you cope:

  • Mark the pet’s passing with some sort of ritual. Rituals such as memorial services and burial ceremonies are an accepted part of human loss and can be just as healing after losing a pet. Even something as simple as lighting a candle in your pet’s memory can help.
  • Find supportive family and friends.
  • Find a pet-loss hotline or support group. Many veterinary schools offer free pet-loss hotlines staffed with trained volunteers who will listen and offer compassionate support.
  • Please visit pet loss hotlines for more information.
  • Allow yourself time to grieve. While it’s not healthy to get stuck in your grief, pretending that nothing is wrong is equally unhealthy.
  • Books to comfort readers young and old who have lost a pet: Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven.
  • The old adage that time heals all wounds applies to pet loss as well. As you work through your grief, you’ll find that there will come a day when you’ll wake up in the morning and your first thought will not be about how much you miss your pet, but about a happy memory of the time you spent together”.
These tips are brought to you by Ingrid King, a member of the Pet Connection staff and the author of “Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher.”