Most dogs are treated as members of the family. They have names, own bed, toys, plenty of food, and sometimes, dog owners also throw a birthday party for their fur baby.
That is why it is hard when a pet dog passes away, may it be a natural death or because of a disease. It can be painful and can leave the dog owner and other dogs it was with broken-hearted.
People who don’t understand how it is painful to have a pet often says “it is just a dog, you can get another one”. This statement is somehow insensitive because a dog isn’t just a toy that you can replace easily once it is gone. It is a member of your family, someone whom you share your daily life with and someone who adores you dearly.
It is normal to grieve when you lose a pet. In fact, this grief is backed up by a study. A study was conducted and the results have shown that the grieving period someone goes through after their pet died is truly real.
Losing a pet can be harder to overcome than losing someone.
The reason why it is harder is that there is not an “acceptable” way to mourn for that death.
You are expected to go on with your life and with your schedules even if you had just lose your best paw friend. You are expected to go back to work, to go meet your friends, to meet a client, and other things despite the death of your dog.
Unlike when we lose someone, people will understand if you don’t want to show up for a while. People will understand if you will cancel plans. You can have an excuse not to go to work for your mourning. And you will have people around you experiencing the same loss and can give you kind words which can ease the pain temporarily.
We just don’t have the same support system when a pet dies. There may be some people in your lives who will understand what we’re going through, but they will never know how deeply the death is taking its toll on you, especially if they don’t have any pets and any first-hand experience regarding the situation.
According to Psychologist Julie Axelrod, we are also losing a source of comfort and unconditional love in addition to losing a loved one.
This is true because we form a bond with our pets and some things in our daily schedule are for them. The playtime, the afternoon walk with them, the cuddles.
However, it is an additional pain when the owner decides for the survival of the dog. Euthanasia is something that is hard to do and to accept. It can make you feel guilty and make you question yourself if it is the right thing to do or if you could’ve done something more.
If you are reading this and you have just lost a pet, please know that it is ok to grieve about it. Cry it all out.
If you know someone who is going through with this situation right now, you can share this blog to them. Let them know that what they feel is normal and is ok. And science even proved that.