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Letting Go – How to Handle the Loss of a Pet

March 15 2015

Losing a pet can be a very traumatic, and even devastating, experience. Our furry friends are there for us through thick and thin, providing unconditional love and loyalty, endless cuddles and affection, and lots of laughs. Sadly, it’s an unalterable fact that our animal companions have shorter lifespans than we do. At some point, we all find ourselves faced with the heartbreak of having to say goodbye to our beloved furbabies. In this article, your McHenry vet gives advice on getting over the loss of a cherished friend.

Saying Goodbye

The decision to euthanize is an extremely difficult and emotional choice, but it is sometimes in an animal’s best interest. You might have to remind yourself that letting go is the best thing you can do for your beloved furbaby. It’s kinder and more humane to euthanize an animal that is in pain, rather than let them suffer. Your vet will advise you, answer your questions, and make the process as smooth and painless as possible, but the choice has to be yours. If you know the time has come to say goodbye, make your pet’s last day special and peaceful. This will help ease the pain, and can even be a beautiful experience.

Sometimes a pet passes on unexpectedly. This may take the decision out of your hands, but it doesn’t make things easier. Don’t dwell on ‘what if’s’: it won’t change anything, and will only make you feel worse.

Let Yourself Grieve

The first few days can be extremely trying, as this is when your pet’s absence will be the most noticeable. That cute little face isn’t there to greet you when you come home, and there is an empty spot where your pet’s dishes were. We recommend saving a memento, such as a collar, and throwing out or donating everything else. Let yourself grieve, and give yourself a few days of quiet time.

Give Yourself Time

Your furry companion was one of a kind, and left paw prints on your heart that will never fade. Don’t look for a replacement: instead open yourself up to another animal’s unique charms. Give yourself time to accept the loss of your pet before adopting another.

Please contact us, your McHenry animal hospital, for all your veterinary care needs. We are here to help. Click here for more articles.