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3 Things Every Grieving Pet Owner Wants You to Know


Loving & Caring Thoughts

Posted On: Mar 09, 2017

3 Things Every Grieving Pet Owner Wants You to Know

It's hard for people who don't own pets to understand the gut-wrenching sadness a person feels when they lose their pet. Of course, a little empathy will take you a long way in these situations, but even then, it's difficult for some people to grasp the idea that pet owners love their animals unconditionally and without reservation. Due to that lack of understanding, it's all too easy to accidentally say something thoughtless or cold to someone who's grieving the loss of a pet. Put yourself in their shoes for a few moments and pay attention to the important things most pet owners wish you would understand.

It's Not “Just an Animal”

Bereaved pet owners hear this all the time, which is unfortunate because it's an unnecessary, heartless sentiment. When a person loses an animal, they are not saying goodbye to “just an animal.” They've lost a companion and a creature that selflessly provided unconditional love. Pets are not merely animals to their owners. They are best friends, confidantes, and fur-babies. You may not understand why someone treats a dog or a cat like a child, but you don't have to understand—more on that later.

Pets Feel Like Family

Even without understanding, you can acknowledge a fundamental, universal truth among pet owners: pets are beloved members of the family. They matter. In addition to all the roles they fulfill in the lives of the people who cherish them, domesticated animals become part of the fabric of the family. We watch them grow, learn, and discover the world. Sometimes we rescue them from horrible circumstances. We spend our days with them. They're always there. When they're suddenly not there, it leaves a gaping hole in the familial fabric.

We Can't Simply Get Another One

Pet owners often feel like their pets are their children. Indeed, we dote on our animals just as much as kids. As such, they aren't interchangeable. They aren't replaceable, either. There is no comfort in suggesting to a devastated dog or cat owner that they can simply get another animal. Nothing fills the void left by the unique, one-of-a-kind creature that died. A pet isn't an object that you can easily replace.

You Don't Have to Get It to Be Sympathetic

You understand the concept that some people love animals, and their pets in particular, more than you do, right? It's okay if you aren't a fan of animals. It doesn't matter that you don't have any pets of your own. Identical experiences aren't necessary for sympathy.

Treat a grieving pet owner the way you treat anyone else who loses someone they love. The concept is the same, as is the pain, the sadness, and the anguish. Isn't comfort the most important part?