Recovering From the Loss of a Beloved Animal

By Dr. Michael Roth


A great many of us enjoy having pets as  companions. We cherish them, pamper them, and play with them. In return, a pet, whether it is a dog, a cat, or a guinea pig, provides us with a sense of comfort, companionship and even unconditional love.

Flickr photo credit Amanda Nichols

The fact is most pets will not outlive their masters. Losing a pet can be devastating. The feelings a pet owner faces are similar to feelings experienced when losing a family member: sadness, denial, anger, guilt, and depression.

What can you do to move through the feelings of loss? Here are some ideas.

First, do not deny the feelings. They are very real to you and it does not help to keep them bottled up inside. If you feel like crying, then cry. That is nothing to be ashamed of. You have just lost a best friend.

Second, do not let others trivialize your feelings. Sometimes it is best to be by yourself for a while to give yourself time to let your feelings out.

On the other hand, often you may feel the need to express your feelings to someone who understands. It is quite likely that you know someone who has already lost a pet and would understand. Seek them out and ask if they will meet with you.

When we don’t express our feelings, they can become stuck in our bodies in unexpected ways. Occasionally in my practice, a patient comes to me with symptoms of ill health that turn out to have their origin in the loss of a pet.

For example, a patient with watery eyes and excessive sneezing thought she had allergies. One session of QNRT (Quantum Neurological Reset Technique) identified the recent loss of her dog as the underlying cause of her symptoms, which disappeared completely by the end of her session.

Finally, prepare a place of remembrance for your pet. It may not always be possible to bury your pet in your yard, but you can create a memorial by burying some of your pet’s belongings, such as a food dish, collar, or some of its favorite toys and placing a small marker at the site. Much like a funeral, this is often one of the best ways to bring closure.

Do not be in a big hurry to replace your pet. Give yourself some time to grieve. Give yourself a few weeks before deciding to get another pet.

Flickr photo credit hto2008

If you or someone you know are having a challenge moving beyond the death of a pet, or have recently lost a pet and are having unexplained symptoms of ill health, please call my office for an appointment – 805-644-0461.

Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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