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Pet Loss Support – Why is it harder to move forward after losing a pet compared to losing a human?

Hi, I’m Paula and I am a Veterinary Nurse at the clinic. One of my special interests is helping support owners through the loss of their beloved pets and that’s why a few years ago I undertook further study around Pet Bereavement.

Why is it harder to move forward after losing a pet compared to losing a human?

It is because there is no acceptable or normal way to mourn pet loss.

When we are grieving over the loss of a loved one, we have the support of family and friends to help us through it. This is because they have experienced loss or are going through it at the same time, so there are understanding feelings.

Sadly, it’s not the same when we lose a beloved pet. You are expected to “Get over it” as it was just an animal, right? Wrong! Some people have no idea what it is like to lose a pet. They do not know the beautiful memories you created with them, whether it’s a lifetime or a short time. We love them as part of the family. Some people may not have experienced this unconditional love and can be insensitive unintentionally.

When we lose a pet, it is more than the companionship lost, it’s the comfort they gave you, their unconditional love, and the fact there is no judgment and maybe they were all you had.

Then there is the daily routine you share together – the feeding, walking, time outside with them, the cuddles especially when you might be sad or sick – they offer comfort. So much a part of all your daily life. So, when we are faced with the loss of a pet, suddenly, our world has been turned upside down. They may have been the reason you got up each day.

So how are you meant to feel? What is normal? How long will I feel like this? If you are struggling with any of these questions and would like some support, please get in touch and make a face-to-face appointment. I can guide you through the process and offer advice and support. This service we offer free of charge for our clients.

By Paula Kirk – Veterinary Nurse & Pet Loss Support Advocate

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