Woman walking dog


Written by Lexie Graf


For many families, a pet’s death is equivalent to the death of a family member because many consider their pet a part of the family. Families share a special bond with their pets since they were there for all the laughter and all the tears.


Pets don’t judge us and love us unconditionally, so no wonder why it’s so hard to come to terms when it’s their time. Unfortunately, many people experience disenfranchised grief after a pet’s death because people outside the family don’t understand their pain. They may think “it’s just a pet.” However, to the owner, it was much more than that.


Families deserve to have time to fully grieve and memorialize their pet. That’s why we’re sharing ways your family can cope with the death of your pet below.


Hold a Memorial Service

In their short time on this earth, our pets leave countless memories. Since they become such an integral part of our lives, holding some kind of ceremony, whether that be an actual funeral or memorial service, is fitting. In fact, more funeral homes are offering pet services.


Whether or not you decide to do it at a funeral home or just host it at home, sharing a few words about your pet’s life is healing. Honoring their life shows how much they meant to you.


Talk to a Counselor

If the loss of your pet continues to affect your daily life, it may be time to see a counselor. There is no shame in needing help coping with the grief of losing a pet. A counselor can provide coping techniques and help you come to terms with your loss.


Don’t Brush it Off

It’s okay to let people know you’re hurting when your pet passes away. You’re not expected to instantly jump back into your regular schedule. If you’re able, take a day or two off work. It’s important for you and your family to allow yourselves to feel all the emotions associated with your pet’s death.


Acknowledge the Gift of a Pet

A pet that you bond with is a special gift that not everyone experiences in their life. Take time to acknowledge the role your beloved pet played in your family members’ lives. How did your pet make you all grow? Did they teach your children responsibility? Did they teach you what unconditional love really means?


What are some ways you honored your pet when they passed away? Share by commenting below!