After the loss of a pet, a great emptiness can be generated that is often not understood by the environment.

Before acquiring a pet, you have to keep in mind that they are not an object of possession because when you acquire them, you also acquire the commitment to take care of them and not abandon them until the moment of their death, despite the illnesses, accidents, or problems that the pet can get into.

A pet is one that, regardless of its species, has to be treated with affection. This disqualifies it from any other utilitarian interest because the pet becomes a companion and, why not, another member of the family, and must be treated as such.

We all need to change our attitudes about losing a pet

We live in a society full of attachments, and it is hard for us to let go, but when it comes to the death of a pet, the environment that surrounds us does not accept grief for it.

For example, if the family reproaches the person for having very exaggerated emotions for the pet and thinks the stages of mourning are not justifiable, then this person represses feelings with the family, but internally he has not overcome them.

When it comes to the loss of a pet, the pain and emptiness that are felt are inexplicable, and this means that many do not want to have pets again for fear of losing them and experiencing that pain again.

Or, on the contrary, the person tries to compensate for that sadness by replacing their pet immediately. It must be understood that the animal will have a new character and we cannot do the same things that we did with the one that died.

We cannot treat the new pet like the old one because they are all different, and this point is often repeated when parents replace their child’s puppy, kitten, goldfish, etc. to begin their happiness. Usually, the loss of a pet in children is their first approach to death, and this opportunity could be used to teach the child what death is.

They are an important part of our lives.

There will be those who question the fact that the death of a pet can cause a lot of suffering, but you have to understand that when someone lives with them for a long time, they will identify with a very important part of their life.

When a person does not elaborate on their grief, somatize. Many people do not attribute these somatizations to the loss of their pet, coming to believe that the rash that came out is because something stung them, but the person does not know how to express that grief, which hides it, and the emotions that are not expressed usually cause us a lot of damage.

This happens because the surrounding environment does not accept the pet’s grief, making the person who suffers it believe that it is wrong to feel that way about an animal. Those of us who have already lost a pet have heard phrases like “how do you get like that for a dog?” or “it was just a cat” or “don’t make such a big deal, tomorrow you will buy another fish.”

The person who represses his feelings in front of the family, lives alone with that loss and cries, feels anxiety, etc., but he does it in secret. Many times, the person feels better when someone understands that pain, and it is important to be surrounded by those people who understand the feeling and thus can express all that pain without fear of being judged.

It is not bad to feel sad about the loss of a pet. One should not be ashamed of feeling that inner emptiness when suffering such a loss. We must treat that wound with love, so that we can learn to live with this new situation.

What to expect after losing a pet.

It is important to enjoy our pets, but we should also know that they will not last forever.  Overcoming the loss of a pet by death does not mean forgetting it, it means accepting the new reality without it.

Absence is hard and can be a difficult process. Not all griefs are the same, and we can get stuck in a stage where we feel guilt, anger, and wonder what we should have done or not. There is no need to punish or torment yourself over the moment you scolded the pet, for example.

Grieving for the loss of a pet should typically last six months to two years. If we do not feel we are making progress after that time, it is time to consider seeking professional help to help us walk that path.

We must give ourselves the time to heal the wound, learn to live again after so many years together with our pet, and although he is no longer with us physically, he will be in our minds and our hearts.

If you are going through this loss, give yourself the opportunity to be happy again. Remember the pleasant moments you had with your pet, but honor its memory by recovering peace. Even if you doubt it now, it will come.

It is time we gave grieving pet owners the recognition, support and consideration they need. Yes, it is up to us to identify and address our emotional wounds when our pet dies, but the more validation we receive from those around us, the quicker and the more complete our psychological recovery will be.


“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” —Anatole France

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