Coping with the Loss of a Pet

white dog in tan sweater

 Coping with the Loss of a Pet 

Losing a pet, specifically, a dog is a huge loss. As you may know, I am still extremely saddened & at a loss for the passing of Bentley

To me, my dogs were {Riley still is} the center of my world & not having one without the other has been really difficult. 

I know from experience, that when one loses a pet, there is nothing, no string of words that can ease what feelings are swirling through your mind & body. 

As I am trying to carry on, no words really have brought me comfort, but a few things, actions, & tributes to Bentley that I have done have made his passing cope-able. If that is even possible. 

Therefore, if you too are missing a loved pet or dealing with a recent loss, hopefully, some of these suggestions will help you cope with the loss of a pet. 

White and butterscotch Yochon
Loss of a pet grieving tips 

  • Dedicated Burial Space: I know it isn't possible for everyone to bury their pets in their yard. However, if it is for you or if you can create a little place where their soul can rest brings a sense of peace. I purchased a custom engraved headstone for Bentley's grave in our sideyard. In addition, there are solar lights on his grave. When burring a pet at home, placing their head going toward the home is right, so they'll always be able to find their way home. 
  • Donate Their No Longer Needed Items: Of course, there are some things any dog parent wants to keep after their dog passes. However, you don't need to keep everything as there are living dogs that could use gently used beds, unopen dog food, toys, and blankets. We donated a lot of Bentley's items to a local in-need animal charity, Animal Charity of Ohio for other dogs looking for homes to have & use. 
  • Plant Flowers in Remembrance: Someone who heard of Bentley's passing gave my mom a card that had blue dog biscuit adhered to it. It wasn't a dog treat, but rather Forget-Me-Not- flower seeds that you plant in the yard or near their grave so you think of your pet every time they bloom. 
  • Honorary Photo: Bentley was lucky in his life to have posed for many portraits. After his death, I had a leather-bond photo book made of him & Riley, showcasing pictures throughout his life. I like to reflect on it from time to time & remember him. 
  • Look for Signs: Looking for signs that your pet has found its new home in the afterlife can bring a sense of peace & calm. To keep my story closed & personal, I was lucky enough to recognize a sign that Bentley sent to us, letting his family know he is now at peace. 
  • Time: Unfortunately, time with the passing of a pet is both the hero & the villain in the healing process. Time helps as you learn to navigate through life without your dog. However, as time passes, it gets harder & harder to hold onto their memory & how you two co-existed. This is why the ideas above help as they preserve their memory forever kind-of-way. 
As someone who recently lost their dog, I am touched when people genuinely reach out & say the kindest words. At the same time, losing a pet shows who your friends really are when there isn't any line of communication or checking in. 

While there are no words, sentences, or books that can ease the pain, sadness, & grief that comes with the death of a pet, checking-in, in & asking how they're coping with the loss means a lot. 

If you recently lost a pet, you have my sincere condolences. 

@katelynchef on Instagram 

White dog

two dogs and a female
Coping with the Loss of a pet