Prior to Losing a Pet

Loss can be very painful and disorienting. Deeply loving your pet and losing him/her will create a lot of feelings, including loneliness, confusion and emptiness. Understand that these feelings are a part of grieving and loss. Prior to losing your pet, consider some of the following things that you can do before you must say goodbye.

  • Create a journal-your pet has unique qualities that you cherish. Write them down. You can also talk to your pet and get their perspective. Try to remember all the good times and silly things that you did together.
  • Keep a calendar– check to see how you are making progress and monitor the good and bad days.
  • Photoalbum- Collect images from your pets life and create a memory book or a collage. Paint a wall.
  • Friends and Family- have them come over and share in your thoughts and feelings. Have them tell you what they remember and what made them laugh
  • Spiritual Connections- Find an organization that gives you support.
  • Paint- with your pet. Have them walk through colors that are safe and put them on a canvas as a permanent paw print in your life.
  • Jewelry- take pieces of hair, mane, whiskers and place them in a special keep-sake, a necklace, bracelet, keychain to always keep with you.
  • Music – if you play an instrument dedicate a song to your beloved pet or have them howl, meow or just listen to the music together.
  • Video- make a video or movie of your pet with you.
  • Time- spend as much time as you can with your pet. Those moments will always be cherished.
  • Plant- a tree, flower or build a garden together.
  • Memorialize- set up candles, pictures, anything that will help you cherish the memories
  • Talk to your pet. Tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them.
  • Keepsakes. Take collars, tags, hair, whiskers, and/or toenails and build a memory box.
  • Self Care- Remember that you are important too. Give yourself the gift of caring, which includes adequate nutrition, exercise, and rest. Your emotional and physical well being are important during this difficult time.