Coping with the loss of a pet

For many of us, a pet is more than simply 'just a pet'. Pets are often a beloved and valued member of the family, and can bring joy, companionship, meaning, and purpose into our lives. That is why, when a valued pet passes away, it is normal to feel an overwhelming sense of loss and grief, just as you might feel if you lost a family member or a friend. Therefore, whilst some people may not understand your loss, it is okay to feel overwhelmed and grieve.

Everyone is unique and will grieve differently. However, here are several suggestions that may help with the grieving process and allow you to come to terms with the passing of your pet.

Allow yourself to grieve

Grieving is a natural response when coping with the death of a loved one. It is okay to feel upset or to cry or to feel angry. Allow yourself to feel those emotions without judgement or guilt.

Speak/reach out to those with similar experiences

People who have never owned or lost a pet, may often find it difficult to relate to pain of losing a pet. However, speaking to someone who has gone through something similar whether it is with someone you know, online forums, or a pet loss hotline, can be helpful in dealing and understanding the grief.

Create a memory
Remembering the good times, the love, and the bond you shared with your animal companion can often be helpful in allowing you to move on. For instance, compiling some photos, preparing a memorial, or planting a plant in memory of your pet can help you celebrate the life of your pet

Take Care

During the grieving process, it's often common to experience a loss of appetite and lack of sleep. Although you may feel unmotivated during this difficult period, make sure you take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and exercising regularly.

Seek Help

If your feelings of grief are making it difficult for you to function, consider speaking to a health professional to get some additional support and help. To talk to one of our trained Peer Workers at LETSS call us on 1800 013 755 or start a webchat via

(Image by Eric Ward from Unsplash) 

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