Pet grief is something that every pet owner struggles with. Grief can take a toll on your emotional and mental health. Use these coping strategies to help.

In loving memory etched into a sandy stone in remembrance of a pet
Use these coping strategies to navigate your way through pet grief and handle your mental health.
Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

Pet grief can be a long and overwhelming process. Many pet owners feel lost and devastated without their pets by their side. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting through the grieving process, these coping strategies will help. Use these tips to take care of your emotional and mental health while grieving the loss of your pet.

#1 Let Yourself Feel Sad

All too often, people try to push aside or cover up their pet grief. Some pet owners feel like or have been told by others that losing a pet “isn’t that big of a deal.” However, fellow pet owners and animal lovers know just how devastating this loss can be. To make your way through the grief process without too much of an impact on your emotional and mental health, you need to feel your grief.

This coping strategy means facing it head-on and not running away. Pet grief isn’t something that can be navigated by pretending not to be sad or buying a new pet right away. Instead, take all the time that you need to feel sad, upset, angry, confused, lost, and whatever other emotions you encounter in your grieving process. Know that missing your pet is part of your new normal. However, it doesn’t have to be all sadness and crying. This coping strategy allows you to look back and smile on all the fond memories you have of your pet.

Woman crying and experiencing grief in a house with broken doors
Feeling sad and having emotional days is all part of dealing with pet grief. Let yourself be upset and miss your pet.
Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

#2 Grief Books

Some pet owners find it helpful to navigate their pet grief with grief books. While this isn’t necessarily for everyone, it can make the grieving process easier for some. If you’re unsure of whether grief books are a good coping strategy for you, consider purchasing one or checking one out from your local library. There really is no harm that can come from taking a few days or weeks to read through a grief book.

It is up to you whether you try a general grief book or a grief book specific to pet loss. Either book option can be a good coping strategy for navigating the tumultuous and emotional waters of pet grief. This is especially true if you’re new to pet loss and pet grief. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or other pet owners that you know for their suggestions on this helpful coping strategy.

#3 Keep The Memories Alive

Single candle burning in memory of the loss of a pet
Keeping your pet’s memory alive is an important coping strategy. Pet grief can be combated by holding onto memories.
Image by 41330 from Pixabay

One of the best things you can do to make it through the pet grief process without draining your mental health is to celebrate your pet’s memory. Keep their memory alive by talking about them with your friends, family, and neighbors. Don’t think that just because your pet is gone, that you have to stop loving them or relishing your fond memories of them. They will always be a part of your past, your memories, and your heart.

If you like, you can keep their photographs displayed throughout your home and office space at work. You can also purchase a memorial rock, sculpture, or stone to place in your home or garden. A memorial item is a noble way to let your pet know that you will never forget about them or the impact that they had on your life. However you keep your pet’s memory alive, know that this coping strategy will make the grieving process much easier and less emotionally taxing.

Pet grief is something that all pet owners have to deal with in their life. These coping strategies will make the grieving process a little easier and help you hang onto the memories you have of your pet. Grief can take a toll on your emotional and mental health. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or a therapist regarding your pet grief.