For some people, pets are like family members (Photo: iStock)

Losing a pet is a very painful thing. A pet is literally a family member so when they pass away, it feels like you’ve lost a family member.

Non-pet owners might not necessarily understand why you feel sad about losing a cat or a dog but, those who understand recognise that grief is real. Some pets have been with you through tough seasons in your life so, it’s okay to feel heartbroken when you have to let them go.

Now that you’re in this unfortunate situation, you need some tips on how you can cope. Here are five ways you can heal from the loss of a pet:

Acknowledge how you are feeling

Since pets aren’t human, we don’t always grieve them the same way we do when we lose someone. Still, if you genuinely loved and treasured your pet, the loss can hurt deeply.

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So, don’t feel embarrassed if you want to cry about it and don’t even worry if someone says it’s silly to cry over an animal. You’re the one who knows how it truly feels so allow yourself to feel sad about it and grieve if you need to.

Give yourself enough time to mourn

Grieving a pet can take weeks but for some, months or even years, which is understandable. Some pet owners have had their pets for close to 15 years so, how long you need to grieve is totally up to you.

Don’t force yourself to get over it within a short time because this is a pet you considered family. Just remember that there is no specific time limit on when you should recover from this huge loss.

Celebrate the good memories

A healthy way to grieve is to reminisce on the wonderful memories you had with your pet. It might be hard to think of anything else besides what has happened but, you can try your best.

This might help you feel better until you recover. There are times when you will remember the loss you’ve experienced but, let your mind be filled with positive memories.

Talk to someone who understands

It might also help to talk to a friend or family member who can understand how you feel. Choose someone who you trust because if you open up to someone who doesn’t care about pets, you won’t get the support you need at that point.

Seeking support will definitely help you feel encouraged which is far better than dealing with the grief alone.

Connect with other pet owners

You should also reach out to other people who have gone through or are currently dealing with the loss of a pet. This can be through apps or forums online where pet owners can connect with each other.

Here, you will get support from others who know what it feels like and also, and you can offer support to someone else in future. It just helps to talk to those who can relate with you on a deeper level so this is something you should consider as you heal.