A memoral photo of a white dog next to a leash on the table.

Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is never easy, and the grieving process is highly individualized. Our pets are valued family members who provide a constant source of companionship through life’s ups and downs. They give our lives purpose; they keep us active, and they make us laugh. And for those who rely on a service animal or therapy pet, losing that pet also means a temporary loss of independence or emotional support. 

At The Bluffs Pet Clinic, we completely understand the immeasurable impact that pets have on the lives of those who love them. We want you to understand that grief after pet loss is entirely natural and to be expected. It’s also important to have resources to turn to that can help you process your pain, honor your cherished friend, and, in time, open your heart to the possibility of adopting another companion animal.

Healing After Pet Loss

Experiencing loss is an inevitable aspect of pet ownership. The depth of your grief may depend upon your pet’s age and the circumstances surrounding your pet’s passing. Whatever the case, it’s natural to feel a profound sense of loss, and your grief is nothing be ashamed of. 

We all cope differently with pet loss, but for real, authentic healing, it’s necessary to find healthy ways to face and process your grief. Consider honoring your pet’s memory in meaningful ways, connecting with others who’ve experienced pet loss, or seeking support through online communities. Give some thought to these tips compiled by the pet lovers at The Bluffs Pet Clinic:

  • Be honest with your children. Let them see you grieve and allow them to grieve openly. 
  • Hold a funeral and give each family member a chance to share a special memory.
  • Memorialize your pet with a garden statue or plaque, or plant a new tree or shrub to create a living memorial.
  • Create an online legacy. There are many websites and Facebook groups where you can share stories and photos of your beloved pet.
  • If you’ve chosen cremation, The Bluffs Pet Clinic partners with a dignified and caring cremation service provider that offers many urn and pet memorial keepsakes.
  • Make a charitable contribution in your pet’s name to a nonprofit animal shelter or rescue organization.
  • Find support through online pet loss communities, such as U of M Love, Loss, and Memories Group
  • Consider that other animals in your household may be experiencing their own pet grief, and give them plenty of extra TLC. 
  • Seek out online resources like ASPCA Pet Loss for additional insights. 
  • Consider volunteering to cuddle cats or walk dogs at a local animal shelter. 
  • Stay active, both physically and socially, to keep your spirits lifted.

Every journey toward healing is different, but one thing is universal: grief is natural and needs to unfold organically. Give yourself grace, and if we can be of any assistance, please give us a call at (651) 388-1103.