How to Cope with the Passing of a Pet

Love and Care To All

How to Cope with the Passing of a Pet

Nadine Gourkow shows two gravestones to acknowledge the passing of pets

If there is one thing I know, it is that the passing of a pet can be extremely difficult. After a certain amount of time, our pets become family members. It becomes just as hard when your pet passes away as it is when we have to say goodbye to someone in our family. That is not to say that either is more important than the other. It simply means that having to say goodbye to either can be a tough pill to swallow. I know this can be tough. However, I am here to tell you that you can move past this. I am going to provide you with several ways that you can cope with the passing of your pet. This is not going to make the hurt go away. In time, though, it will make it much easier to deal with. I hope that you will find at least one of these helpful.

The Reason it Hurts

To understand how to make it feel better, we must first examine the reason that it hurts so bad. Depending on when you got your pet, you may have seen them grow up. I have a friend that had her cat from the first second he was born. The other cat she had given birth to it in your closet. So, when she had to say goodbye to him, it was especially difficult. She was there for his first steps, when he opened his eyes, and sadly when he got cancer. All of the things that they used to do together would no longer be a part of her life. There would be no more greeting of her when she came home, no more meows when he was hungry, and no more cuddles. She, like you possibly, had become very attached to him. It was not just her pet, it was her “son.” Our fur babies have a way of getting into our lives and not letting go. This is the reason that it hurts so bad when you have to bid them farewell.


Now that we understand why it hurts, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can make that pain subside a little bit. Remember, this is not something that is going to happen overnight. It is something that will happen gradually.

  • Your emotions – The emotions that you have are yours. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel. They are not in your shoes. They don’t know how long you have had your pet. They don’t know anything about the circumstances surrounding their death. If someone is telling you that you should not feel bad, you should not talk with them for a while. You do not need that kind of negativity in your life.
  • Reach out to others – Without a doubt, you have someone in your life that has lost a pet at one time or another. Perhaps you have a friend that has lost one recently. These are the people that you need in your life. They will understand better than anyone just how you feel. Perhaps they can give you pointers on how they overcame the loss. There is not one single way to get over the loss of a pet. Keep that in mind when you are reading this blog. This is just a few suggestions that I feel can be helpful. However, if you happen to find a better way to deal with the loss of your pet, then you should go with that. My only interest is to make sure that you are feeling better after you lost your fur baby.
  • Rituals – Some people may think it is unnecessary. You might think it is unnecessary. However, there are some experts that feel having a funeral for your pet is what you need. If it works for humans, there is no reason that it should not work for pets as well. The entire point of the funeral is to say goodbye to the person or pet. It is what experts call closure. Closure is something you need to have in order to move on. Sadly, there is no closure greater than having a funeral for your furry friend.
  • Legacy – If having a funeral isn’t your thing, perhaps you can do something that will extend your pet’s legacy. This can be anything from planting a tree to making a memento box. The friend I spoke of earlier made a box for her pet. She put all the things that she is going to want to remember him by in the box. So, she put his favourite toy, his food bowl, and his death certificate. On the front, she put a picture of him and a plaster imprint of his paw. That way, every time she looks at the box, she will be reminded of him. If she ever wants, she can take out his favourite toy and play with it herself. Some people think that doing this will only hurt you more. However, this is how she chose to deal with the pain. Since his passing, she has been getting better and better. Mostly, it was after she got this box. So, don’t be too quick to discount this method.
  • Get another pet – Believe it or not, this will help a lot. You are used to giving your love and attention to a pet. It is best to have another to give that love to as well. A lot of times, the part we miss the most about our pet is the attention we give them. It makes you feel lonely inside when you cannot give attention to a pet. Trust me when I tell you, your pet would want another pet to have all the love and attention that you gave to him or her.


I know that it is a difficult thing to talk about. I really hate doing these articles. I just wanted to make sure that you had some ways to deal with the eventual passing of a pet. The truth is, most pets that we have will pass on before us. So, sooner or later, you are going to have to deal with that. I hope that this has provided you with some useful ways to cope with the loss of your furry friend.