How to Cope with Losing a Pet

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Mourning the loss of a pet will never be an easy experience. As a life-long pet owner myself, I decided to sit down with Veterinary grief counselor Michele Pich of Ryan Vet at the University of Pennsylvania to find out some tips on how to cope with losing a furry loved one.

Michele says, it comes down to the human and animal bond, which can be very strong in a lot of people and their animals.  This bond can be so strong that when a pet is lost, the grief is very overwhelming.

Many go through denial and are angry, but at some point they will get to a level of acceptance. Mourning the loss of a pet can also be very isolating, as some people expect others to get over it quickly. You may find yourself unable to move past your loss for a long time, leaving you with nobody to turn to.  Others may think they are doing just fine, then memories of their lost pet are easily triggered.

So, is getting another pet the answer?

Michele says, you should not rush into getting another pet and expect that pet to be exactly like the previous one. This will only set you and the your new four-legged friend up for disappointment.

If you are very adamant about getting another pet, be sure to get something different – a different breed, color, size, or even just the opposite sex.

For more information on how to deal with the loss of a pet visit www.vet.upenn.edu.

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