Our cherished pets are a constant source of unconditional love, companionship, and entertainment. However, there’s a big price to pay for such joy – our pets’ life spans are generally much shorter than ours. Dying is not something we like to talk about, and we find it hard to face the idea that our beloved pets won’t be around forever. To assist you through a sad time, here are six steps to help you prepare for pet loss.
1. Spend Lots of Quality Time
If your pet is old or sick and you know that the inevitable is approaching, make the most of the remaining time you have together. Indulge your pet – it’s ok to spoil him a little at this time in his life. Feed him his favorite meal and snuggle up on the couch for long stroking and talking sessions. If your dog is still fairly active, take him to his favorite place for walks.
2. Prepare Yourself Emotionally
Truthfully, we are never fully prepared to accept the death of a loved one, and this includes your pet. You can anticipate that you will feel grief, but you may not understand the extent of the role your pet played in your life until you’re left to live without him. It might help to learn about the stages of grief and what you and your family members are likely to experience.
3. Talk to Your Children About Pet Loss
Gently explain to your kids that your pet is getting older or becoming ill and will soon be resting in pet heaven. Depending on your children’s ages, provide them with as many details as are appropriate, and answer their questions. Comfort them by letting them know that after your pet passes, he will no longer feel pain.
4. Take Photos
Take extra photos of your pet and make other keepsakes such as a paw print. When the time comes, you can make a framed collage to hang on a wall. On the days following your pet loss, you can look at these memorabilia and come to terms with the fact that it was his time to go.
5. Make Arrangements for Pet Loss
You need to consider what to do with your pet’s body after he passes. Take your time and involve the whole family in your decision. Having arrangements in place beforehand saves you from having to make unwelcome decisions while you are grieving. Several options are available, including burial (at home if possible or in a pet cemetery), cremation, and veterinary disposal. Certain choices will require health department approvals, proper burial urns, or special caskets.
6. Create a Place for Memory
Whether or not you choose to keep your pet’s remains, you can create a spot in your garden for remembrance and reflection. Perhaps the place where your pet often hung out or dozed. Erect a pet memorial marker to pay tribute to your friend, whether your pet is buried there or not.
Preparing for pet death will make you feel sad, but it also provides you with an extra impetus to enjoy each day that is left for the two of you to be together. All living creatures pass on, and it’s in your best interest to acknowledge this fact and plan for it. However, what you can’t plan for is an emergency situation involving your pet. However, if you live in the vicinity of Columbia, SC, you should have the contact information of CVETS readily available for any emergency care your pet may need. Make a note of it now.