Coping with the Death of a Dog

Coping with the death of a dog can be like coping with the death of a loved one. A dog becomes a permanent family fixture in your home and cannot soon be forgotten. Whereas, at the time, you feel like you will never be able to get past the loss of your dog, in time you will see that learning to cope with the death of your dog will help you to move on.

The Grieving Stage

Grieving is a part of coping and it is the first step in getting past the horrific loss. Because everyone grieves in a different nature, grieving can consist of crying, screaming, reminiscing or withdrawal from your normal activities. The important thing to remember about grieving is that you have to do it and you shouldn't be ashamed of it.

Your dog was probably a part of your life for many years, and now it feels as though something is missing. Not only do you have to accept the change in your life, but you also have to accept the fact that your dog is gone. This can be a hard lesson for someone who was very close to their dog.

You may sit around thinking of the good times when your dog used to romp through a field, or you may break down when see the leg of your coffee table that he chewed to bits. These are all normal reactions to a loss and allowing yourself to grieve is a very healthy step in coping.

Absorb Yourself in Activities

After you have somewhat gotten past your grief, you can move on to other activities. Keeping yourself busy and your mind focused will help you to get past the loss of your dog. Because you can't stay in grief mode forever, you have to find a way around it.

If you have other dogs, you may enjoy taking them to the park and watching them play. You may decide to go on a shopping spree and buy them new toys and treats. If you have other dogs, use their warmth and security to help fill the void that exists in your life. You may have lost one dog, but you certainly have others that are deserving of your love.

If you don't have other dogs, get back to your normal routine and keep yourself busy. Do whatever you can do to keep your mind focused and moving forward. Simple things like cleaning your house or redecorating a room in your home are great ways to stay focused on something other than your loss.

After You Have Moved On

Once you have gotten passed the hurt and you have filled your life with other activities, you can then return to the loss of your dog in a logical manner. There are several outlets that offer headstones and pet memorials. While this may have been a difficult task during the grieving process, you can now look back on your dog with fond memories and give him the representation that he deserves.

If you don't want to purchase a memorial, try making one of your own. Decorating your dog's final resting place with flowers, stones or pictures is a great way to remember your dog from a logical stand point. You will be able to look back and remember the good times without feeling weepy and sad. If you keep his memories alive, every time you walk past his gravesite memorial, you will feel like he is still there and the thought will make you smile, rather than cry.

Coping with the death of a dog is not easy because of the place that he filled in your life. But, if you can get yourself through the grieving process and move on to other activities and celebrating the life of your dog, you will find that you were successfully able to cope with the death of your dog.