How to Cope After Your Pet Travels Over the Rainbow Bridge


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When a pet dies most people expect to feel sad, but you may have other emotions as well. For example, you may feel angry or guilty that you didn’t spend more time with your pet before they died. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions when you are dealing with loss of your best friend. If your dog has passed away, the pain may feel unbearable. Experiencing the loss of a pet is difficult every time. Here are some steps you can take to help you cope.

What to do After a Pet Passes Away

The first step to take after your pet travels over the rainbow bridge is to take a moment for yourself. This is a hard moment and you may feel overwhelming emotions. If your pet died at home, you can then call your vet and they will be able to give you steps for moving your dog’s body and recommending a cremation center. You can also choose to bury your pet yourself. There’s something special about having a proper burial for your pet and always having them close to home.

If you are having trouble after your dog passes remember:

  • There are online forums where other pet owners can speak openly about their emotions after losing a pet
  • There is a Pet Loss Hotline you can call at (877) GRIEF-10.
  • Many veterinarians provide support services for families that are coping with losing a pet
  • Friends and family are the best support system for when you are dealing with the loss of your dog

The Grieving Process After the Loss of a Pet

The grieving process is as unique and different as each person. For some it will last days, for another, it may take years.

Some pet owners may feel anger or denial, which may be directed at anyone involved with the pet, including family, friends, and veterinarians. Families may also feel guilty about what they did or did not do in the days and weeks leading up to the pet’s death. After these initial feelings subside, you may experience deep sadness or grief.

Pet owners commonly face these overwhelming emotions and it may be helpful to reduce the painful reminders like their pet’s material possessions throughout the house. Removing these objects can help quell the immediate pain you feel after your pets passing.

Remembering Your Pet

petsies pet stuffed animal

Making a Petsies of your past pet can bring comfort to the entire family.

Doing something special to remember your pet can be therapeutic for the whole family. Having a small burial or ceremony for your pet can be helpful. The possessions left behind by our pets can serve as a painful reminder after their death but in many cases, you can keep a leash or a toy to remember the happy times you spent with them.

Looking at old photos of your pet can also help you through the grieving process. There are many options online to upload your photos into a print book or album. Thanks to Petsies, you can now turn your beloved pet into a custom stuffed animal. It’s a wonderful way to honor and remember your beloved. Make sure you talk to everyone in your family about the different options for memorializing your pet. Some family members may not be ready until some time has passed.

Getting A New Pet

Rushing into getting a new dog isn’t fair to you or your new pet. Each animal has their own personality and a brand new animal cannot replace the one you lost. You will know when it’s the right to adopt a new pet after giving yourself time to grieve, considering all the options and paying close attention to you and your family’s feelings.

Just be sure to wait until the time is right when you look for a new dog. As pet owners, we know that we will most likely outlive our pets, but we can still remember all the amazing love and fun they brought into our lives while they were with us.