Losing your dog is particularly painful to experience. Your pet dog wasn’t just an animal to you, but you also considered them to be a member of your own family. You shared a strong relationship with them, and their companionship and loyalty are incomparable to that of anyone else.
Dog owners often take a long time to come into terms with the death of their pets before being able to fully grieve their loss. Someone who has recently lost their pet is often referred to as “pet parents” as their bond with their dog is understood by many. However, some may be a little thoughtless and say things like it’s “only a dog”, and that can often worsen the pain of the owner grieving.
“Sometimes losing a pet is more painful than losing a human because, in the case of the pet, you were not pretending to love it.” – Amy Sedaris
5 Reasons why losing your pet is so hard
- The strong bond
According to a journal article published by the Official Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Study, the bonds that owners form with their pets can be described to be as strong as the bond that they form with people. Our brains view these bonds in the same way and therefore the hormones that our bodies release when bonding with our pets are the same as the ones that we release when bonding with our family members.
The grieving that humans go through when losing their pet is the same type of grieving that they go through when losing a friend or relative. You will need the same time to mourn as well as maybe need therapy to help you overcome your feelings of sadness.
Losing your dog is not just about losing them only. You lose the memories, the times you shared and the fact that they were always present. This can make your life feel empty for a while as the unconditional love that you have for them makes their loss painful.
Memories can really trigger emotions and feelings of sadness. Sometimes when an owner is reminded by something small, they remember their pet and begin to miss them all over again. It could be their dog’s favourite food or their favourite place to have a nap. All these little things can trigger some sad memories.
Sometimes pets are put down to sleep on the advice of their vets after seeing them suffer and go through terminal illnesses which makes them asleep better than being alive. The guilt that surrounds making such decisions can make the owner constantly question themselves whether they did the right thing.
Remember that losing a pet can take a long time to get used to. Don’t feel that you have to justify your emotions as most people understand that even your feelings are back by science.