Having a dog is like having someone who loves you unconditionally. Pet owners say their dogs are actually their babies! Statistics shows that about 68% of the American households own a pet. Yes, we all have a furry friend.
Pets are part of our family. Unfortunately, they have to go at some point in their life. Latest research shows that grieving a pet is pretty similar to grieving a loved one. Some say it is even harder.
Dogs make us happy. We eat and walk together, and feeling terrible after their death is actually normal. You lose someone you had by your side for many years. Those feelings of grief and loss are normal.
Becoming aware of this is really important. You cannot just tell pet owners to “get over it.” Those people need someone by their side to survive the hard times.
In this article we give you some of the reasons pet owners have hard time grieving a pet.
Bonding builds emotional relationship
Researchers have found that the relationship between a dog and its owner is similar to the friendship between people.
Dog owners spend a lot of time with their pets. The physical touch stimulates the release of the same hormones as when you touch your friends or family. Your dog is part of your family, and losing it will always be accompanied with grief, sadness and even depression. Most owners go through this phase after losing their dog.
Grief is normal
People have the same bond with their dogs as they do with other people. However, there is still one major difference. When we lose a friend or family member, we have an entire support system comprised of ceremonies, condolence cards, flowers, etc. Some people like to visit a therapist or counselor to help them cope with the loss.
When it comes to losing a dog, society sort of forces us to move on right away. Employers usually do not pay much attention to this loss, and expect their employees to work with the same efficacy as usual. According to some people, losing a dog is something you should get over instantly. Why cannot they understand that you have lost your best friend?
Unconditional love and support
Your furry friends give you a specific kind of love, happiness and acceptance. They do not judge you, and you get the same emotional support every day. Spending time with your dog gives you comfort and joy. For most of us, pets have the power to turn a house into a home. That’s why we feel empty after their death.
Warm memories and daily routines
Your dog is the first thing that pops in your mind after waking up. It is probably the last being that ‘says goodnight’ before you go to bed. Daily routines change after they leave. You no longer have to feed or walk them. You cannot see them walk around the house or bark, and it hurts. But, you are not alone and it is normal.
Feeling guilty and responsible
Everyone knows that pets depend on us, and we make pretty much every decision about their way of living. In some cases, dog owners have to ease the pain their pet feels, and it is the hardest decision they will ever make. It sure is the best decision at that moment, but owners cannot help themselves. That’s what makes the grieving process even harder.