How to find help when your dog dies



Owning a dog creates many wonderful and happy memories. You will spend years providing your dog with care and loving him through every moment of it. You might have watched your dog grow from a tiny, naughty, mischievous pup to a bigger, relaxed and wise dog. It is therefore completely understandable that you will grieve the passing of your dog, and may struggle with the emotions that come from such a great loss. If your dog died prematurely then you may also feel a sense of injustice that your time together was cut short.


People who have not owned pets or are not animal lovers don’t always understand how a person can feel such a strong sense of loss and mourn their pets, but in order to get through the grieving process you must accept that what you are feeling is natural and completely normal. Take time to mourn your lost pet and don’t be ashamed of it.


The Emotional Rollercoaster of Losing a Dog


Many people describe the feeling of losing a dog as an emotional rollercoaster and you might feel as though you have no control over your feelings. You may experience violent mood swings, or get upset and distressed very easily or without warning. The following emotions are particularly common as you come to term with your dog’s death, you may even feel more than one at once:

Denial – You could be in shock after the death of your dog, particularly if it was unforeseen, or you may just not be ready to accept what has happened. It can be incredibly difficult to accept that your dog won’t be around anymore, after years of being by your side. The circumstances may even feel like a bad dream and you might be in a bit of a daze.

Anger – It’s incredibly common to feel very angry when you are mourning. Depending on how your dog died you might feel anger at the illness, the vet or even yourself. You may have a short fuse and get angry very quickly for seemingly unrelated matters. However, with time the anger will subside and you’ll be able to let this emotion go. It’s important not to dwell on anger and ride it out, or it can make life even more stressful during an already upsetting time.

Guilt – It’s all too easy to blame ourselves when something bad happens. It is perfectly natural to feel some guilt; after all, you loved your dog and would do anything to take care of him. You may find yourself wondering if you could have done anything differently in order to prevent his death. Try to let the guilt go and stop blaming yourself; there’s very rarely anything anyone could have done to prevent the situation.

Sorrow – Sorrow is a very strong emotion and completely normal to experience after the loss of a pet. You may cry a lot or feel upset very suddenly. Sometimes sorrow can be triggered by certain objects or places which spark memories. Don’t worry, in time you’ll be able to remember your dog and look back at your time together and smile.

Depression – If you lose the motivation to do simple everyday tasks then you might be suffering from feelings of depression.  You might feel constantly tired, have a debilitating lack of energy or feel emotionally numb. If these feelings continue consider talking to a professional, such as your GP, about how you have been coping with the loss of your dog.

Acceptance – After the death of your dog, you might feel as though you will never get over it. However, there will come a time when you come to terms with your dog’s death and can manage your emotions more easily. This feeling of acceptance may come and go for quite some time, but eventually it will stick and you will be able to remember your old dog and feel happy, rather than get upset, angry or guilty.

Coping with the Loss of your Dog


Coping with the loss of your dog can feel like an uphill battle, particularly if you are trying to put on a brave face for your children or other loved ones who have also been affected by such a deep loss. There are some ways you can aid the healing process after losing a dog.


Possibly the most important thing to give yourself when trying to manage your grief is time. Time is the biggest healer. Don’t put pressure on yourself to ‘move on’ or ‘get over it’, instead face your emotions and know that things will get better. All you need is a bit of patience. Besides, your dog was a big and wonderful part of your life; he deserves some time spent on mourning him.


Many of us try to avoid our feeling or hide our emotions, but bottling it up will only make it harder. Face your emotions head on and you will learn to understand them. Accept that you’ll go through an emotional rollercoaster, but that it is all part of the grieving process and will help you come to terms with the loss of your dog.


One way to face up to our emotions is by talking. Talk to friends and family about how you are feeling. People who have gone through the loss of a pet will be able to understand what you are going through and give you help and advice. You should also talk about your dog and share memories. Reminisce about the good times and celebrate your dog’s life. Some owners find it cathartic to put their feelings down in writing – why not share the story of your dog on Noah’s Dogs?


You might not feel like it, but try to take care of yourself even on your most emotional days. Eat regular meals, get enough sleep every night and exercise, but also treat yourself to a nice meal out, meeting up with friends, having a hot bubble bath or getting an early night. You deserve a bit of pampering and will need some time to relax and unwind.


If you feel like you just can’t cope or you’re struggling with your feelings, get help. Contact a charity such as the Pet Bereavement Support Service from Blue Cross or Animal Samaritans for impartial advice and support. If you find it hard to talk to a stranger, then Faithfully Yours provides counselling services by post.

Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Service - 0800 096 6606

Animal Samaritans Pet Bereavement - 020 8303 1859

Faithfully Yours – Write to Olwen Parker at 15 St Oswald’s Crescent, Billingham, Cleveland TS23 2RW, enclose a self-addressed envelope.




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03.07.2013 10:14 Categories: Help 
For many people, dogs are not simply pets, they are family members. The joy that comes with owning a dog can quickly turn to heartbreak when you lose a loyal companion.
18.01.2013 12:15 Categories: Help 
Unfortunately sometimes your circumstances change and you need to find a new home for your dog. The more you prepare the greater chance of finding a happy home for your dog.
18.01.2013 12:10 Categories: Help 
If you are struggling with looking after your dog try not to worry there is help available here.
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