How to Overcome the Grief of Losing a Pet


The grief of a lost pet never goes away. Everyone who has ever had a pet in their family knows how much love and affection it is, but they are also aware that the lifespan of our beloved animals is much shorter than ours. It is easiest when a pet dies when it has already reached the upper limit of average life expectancy. Then we know that they experienced it to the maximum and that leaving for them is the beginning of a new path and countdown to our next meeting.

And when that moment of separation comes, we want to preserve as many memories of our incurable friends as possible. As a result, many people get tattoos of their pets, have photos on the wall, and keep their toys and items.

We lose pets for a variety of reasons. Sometimes their time simply comes to cross the rainbow bridge and keep us from another world. But there are situations in which owners decide to stop their suffering if the pet is in agony due to an illness or accident. Unfortunately, there are many scenarios and we are not ready for any of them, even when the death occurred due to natural causes.

All we have left is to keep their memory forever, and at Mittens and Max, you can find wonderful ideas for that.

Unfortunately, today we are talking about a sad topic, but still, it is a part of the life of every person or every family who has decided to have a pet. Can grief disappear? Certainly not. We will all remember our dog, cat, fish, and even parrot, which were part of our lives and then left. But pets are on a much higher spiritual level than humans and they always send us comfort, because they do not want to see us sad because of their departure. The least we can do is be proud of the time we were together. And there are many ways to deal with grief.

Take enough time for yourself


It is really hard to get used to the absence of our pet. But we can do everything in our power to keep that memory alive. When we grieve, everything is allowed. Maybe it helps if you are looking at photos, videos, walking, writing, or trying to defocus from reality. The period of sorrow should certainly pass and we must not try to ignore it. That sadness actually reminds us how much our heart is full of love for our pet, but also that it still exists and we can continue to give it, even when they are not physically present with us.

Keep all the memories alive

When our pet goes to the other world, what instinctively comes to us is to get rid of everything that belonged to him. But deep down we know it’s impossible to do. We will always have the hairs from the brush with which we combed them, the cover on which they slept, their bowls, the collars, the remnants of uneaten food, photographs, really everything that reminds us of them.

These memories are painful but valuable. Do not throw anything away, because when the pain subsides and you get used to the idea that the pet is not physically with you, you will regret getting rid of their objects. Memories are painful, but they are the most valuable thing we have from them.

Get a new pet


At first, it will seem like you are betraying the love and trust of a dead pet. But remember that this pet actually opens the way to the next animal you need. It is just proof that the human heart is capable of loving infinitely many pets and always having room for at least one more. When we lose a pet we think it is not possible. But every time a new dog, kitten, or any other animal comes to us, we realize that we can do much more than that.

Many owners have managed to overcome grief by turning it into love. On the one hand, it is cruel that pets have a much shorter life than us, but on the other hand, it gives us the opportunity to keep and love a few animals throughout our lives. Isn’t that perfect?

Get involved in animal welfare volunteering

You can volunteer at the shelter or help in a veterinary practice. Your pet will be proud of your choice. This is just one of the options that can help you get back to your everyday life, and maybe find your next pet among all those looking for a home.

Be happy with the time you had with them

One pet will stay with us for a few months, another for four, and a third for as long as 20 years. If you have kept more than one pet, you know that these periods of time do not make any difference in how much their death hurts you. But the least you can do for them and for yourself is to be proud of the time you had to be together and of everything you did during that time.



Each of us has a different way of dealing with grief. There may be four or five or more members in the family who grieve for the same pet in different ways. Save the memories, be proud of what you have achieved, keep the love in your heart and give it a multiplier to your new pet. It is quite understandable if you do not want to keep a pet again. You need to recover from the pain and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Take time for yourself and the people around you. The pain is great, but over time it becomes bearable. And then we are ready to love a new pet with all our hearts.

Do not feel pressured for anything and do not let anyone devalue your pain just because they do not understand what it is like to grieve for a pet. And there will be people who will try to do that.