Our four-legged fur babies become family when they enter our homes. It doesn’t take long before they enter our hearts as well. They give us great pleasure to sit back and watch the fun quirky things they do that can bring on much laughter and frustration, usually at the same time. Dogs and cats give us unconditional love and they ask for nothing in return. Unlike our real children, they don’t talk back when being scolded-ok, sometimes they do. So how do you deal with the grief when the time comes to make the toughest decision you will ever make in their life.
Give Yourself Time
Give yourself plenty of time to come to grips with your decision before you actually follow through with the plan. You need to know within yourself that you are making the best decision for your pet as well as yourself. Our pets are not our children, but they are still part of the family and this shouldn’t be a decision made lightly or abruptly.
Talk To Your Children If You Have Any
If you have children, please tell them of your intentions and why you have made the decision to put your pet down. They understand a lot more than we give them credit for. They should be given time to adjust to the decision as well.
Talk To Your Neighbors, Family, and Friends
Tell your neighbors, family, and close friends as they may have built a relationship with your pet as well. They can also help give you comfort as you mourn the loss of your four-legged friend. They may want to say good-bye as well.
Allow Yourself To Feel Anger
Most times you have already made the decision, but you need to take the time to adjust to it yourself. Be prepared to feel anger. It is not uncommon to be angry at your pet, yourself, or even God for bringing this animal into your life in the first place.
It’s Ok To Feel Guilty
It is ok to feel guilty for making the tough decision to let your pet go, especially after the pet has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. It is normal to wonder if you made the right decision and even question yourself as to who you really made the decision for.
Depression Is Normal
Depression is a very normal feeling to go through. You’ve lost a member of your family and it’s ok to cry and want to avoid being around people. Each day it does get a little easier and you will eventually come to terms that you made the best decision for your pet. Your children might experience some depression too. Make sure you are there to listen to them when they want to talk about the loss of their pet.
Accepting The Truth
There is no tried and true path when it comes to grief. Each stage will run it’s course and will take as long as you need it to. There is no hurry. Eventually you will come to acceptance and know that you made the right decision at the right time for both you and your pet. You may even consider getting a new family pet. Just make sure you are in the right frame of mind because you don’t want to neglect or abuse the animal because it’s personality isn’t like the one you just lost. Make this decision very slowly. Give yourself time to heal. When the time is right, you will know.