Losing a cherished pet can be just as heart-breaking as losing a family member, we are never quite prepared to deal with the loss. Pets help us through sadness, bring us companionship, and overall bring joy into our lives. So, when a pet passes away, grief is felt by the whole family.
There are no rules to grief, everyone is different when it comes to grieving and the healing process. Some people may take weeks or months before the sadness fades, where others may take years. Whatever the circumstances of your loss, remember that grief is personal to you, so you shouldn’t be ashamed about how you feel, or believe that it’s somehow not appropriate to grieve for an animal friend.
There are many reasons for the pain that we feel when our beloved companion passes away, the companionship they share, the unconditional love and joyful moments they give, and even something as simple as a daily routine.
Grief can be complicated by a number of additional factors like guilt or regret, thinking you hadn’t done enough for your pet or wondering if it was the right time to say goodbye. All thoughts that can stump the natural grieving process, but it is important to remember that it is all a part of grief.
If you are experiencing grief just know that you are not alone and there is always someone there to help. Websites such as www.petsandpeople.com.au have a range of experienced counsellors that can help with pet loss and grief, they also offer a 24/7 pet loss support line.
When is the right time to say goodbye?
Often, we are asked by pet owners when is the right time to say goodbye to a beloved pet? It is never an easy subject and is always hard to know what the right thing is to do.
Having quality of life and to be comfortable should be the main priority when it comes to elderly or sick pets. Most commonly a pet will not simply pass in their sleep peacefully like we would prefer, and unfortunately, we are left with the extremely difficult decision to do it for them.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your pet seem happy?
- Do they still seem to get excited when you come home every day?
- Are they still eating, or even interested in food?
- Are they looking emaciated?
- Are they too weak to be able to get up and move around, especially to relieve themselves?
- Do they have infected pressure sores from not being able to get up?
- Do you often feel sorry for them?
If the answer is “yes” to many of these then, sadly, it might just be that time.
At the end of the day, your trusted vet will advise what is best for your pet, and it is IMPORTANT to get their opinion.