Grieving the loss of a pet is a deeply painful experience for any pet parent. Our pets are family, beloved members of the household whose presence fills out days with happiness and warmth. However, when it comes time for your pet or the pet of a friend, family member, or loved one to cross the Rainbow Bridge, you don’t need to go through the pet bereavement process alone. Offering a custom line of pet memorial gifts and the support of an incredible community of pet parents around the world, Cuddle Clones is here to help.
Advice for Grieving the Loss of Pet
#1: Take Space & Time to Grieve
Grieving a pet is a complicated, painful, and deeply important process. Grief looks different for everyone and we all have our unique ways of expressing it. In this challenging time, make sure you’re allowing yourself space to feel. Brave faces are for theater, and no one is expecting you to be strong right now, so have a good cry, reminisce with friends and loved ones, and remember that it’s okay not to be okay.
#2: Create a Pet Memorial
Many pet parents find comfort through the pet bereavement process by creating a pet memorial. There are many ways to honor the memory of a fur baby: make a donation to your local animal shelter (and fill out our Shelter Nomination form so we can too!), plan a memorial service, or plant a memorial garden (full of animal-friendly plants!). Many pet owners use our custom stuffed animals as a way to keep their furry friend’s presence in their home, and by adding a zipper pouch, the Cuddle Clone can hold your pet’s urn or other sentimental mementos.
#3: Seek Out Support
The loss of a pet can be unimaginably difficult, but remember that you don’t need to go it alone. Dozens of resources exist to help pet parents cope with the loss of their loss and connect with others who can truly understand and empathize with what you and your family are going through. Take a look at the links below to access just a few of the pet bereavement support networks available. Support is available, in-person, by phone, and online.
Support by Phone
#4: Don’t Rush Into Getting Another Pet
The house can feel quite empty after the death of a pet, and for many pet lovers, the urge to fill that emptiness with another pet can be strong, especially when there are children in the family. While there is no standard timeline for grieving a pet, it’s best to wait to welcome another fur baby into your home until you are far enough along in the pet bereavement process. Bringing another furry friend home too soon can breed resentment if you haven’t grieved the loss of your pet enough. Give your heart time to heal, and before you know it, you’ll be building a beautiful new friendship with a wonderful new pet.
#5: Involve Your Child in the Process
This may seem counterintuitive to some, but your pet was just as much a part of your child’s life as yours, and they will be dealing with equally complicated and challenging emotions. Be open and honest with your child about your pet’s passing and allow them to take part in your family’s efforts to remember and memorialize your pet. This gives your child the opportunity and space they need to grieve with the added comfort and safety of your support. Grieving the loss of a pet is an unavoidable part of owning one, but with open and healthy communication and support, the youngest members of the family can learn how to cope with the loss of a pet.