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Coping With The Loss Of A Pet

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Coping With the Loss of a Pet


Recently within the span of a few months four of my clients each endured the loss of a pet. Having been their pet sitter I am connected to these dogs. I got to know their likes and dislikes, each individual’s nature and personality. I have clocked hours of time with each and loved every minute of it. I am honored to have been chosen to care for them in their owner’s absence. However, the loss I am feeling pales in comparison to what their owners must be going through. It is with this thought in mind that I hope to offer some help to others who may suffer the same experience.

Anyone who owns a pet will eventually face illness, old age or the loss of a pet who was their beloved animal family member. It is a natural and necessary process to grieve their loss. Non pet owning friends or family members may be unable to relate to what you are going through. Recognize that it is normal to feel angry, sad or confused after the death of a pet. It may be necessary to reach out to a support group or grief counselor or even your pet sitter.

Deciding if and when it is the right time for euthanasia can be difficult. Your veterinarian can be helpful here. In-home Euthanasia is a good option as it allows you and your pet to be in familiar surroundings and can lessen the stress of the situation for all involved.

Allow yourself time to work through your grief. Think about holding a memorial ceremony with friends and family members who where special in your pet’s life. One of my earlier mentioned clients did just such a thing. It was a sad yet beautiful way to honor the lost pet. We spent time looking at photos, talking about happier moments, there was a burial of his cremated remains along with some of his things and we even drank a toast to his life.

Create a special place in your home to keep memorable pictures, collar and tags, toys, etc. This may be difficult at first but these things will eventually evoke happy memories.

Many people wonder whether to get another pet immediately, yet others feel as if they may not want another for a long time if at all. For some a new pet is the best medicine. This is an individual decision but generally it is best to wait a month or so allowing yourself time to mourn. When you are ready, your local shelter is a great place to find pets that need you as much as you feel you need them. Below are some great resources for when the time comes.



Loss of a Pet Resources

Pet Loss Support –

In home Euthanasia -Zutilla Veterinary Housecalls/Star Gregory DVM 404-859-9246

Recommended Reading – Pet Loss:  A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children, Herbert A. Nieburg, PH.D. & Arlene Fischer: Harper Perennial; 1996

Cemeteries/Crematories – Oak Rest Pet Gardens Chapel, 2691 Harbins Road, Dacula, GA 30620,


Cherished Friends-Crematory 300 Simonton Road SW Lawrenceville, GA 30045 770-962-3100  ,  Frankie Stewart

Terie Hansen Owner of Good Dog! Coaching & Pet Care

May be reached at 404-422-9832

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