The Ins And Outs Of Coping With The Loss Of A Pet—Yours Or Otherwise

A reminiscence of a girl holding her pet cat on her bed with the words ins and outs of coping with the loss of a pet.

Are you grieving the loss of a pet or is someone you know going through this troubled time?

Yes, pet loss can be traumatizing because they too can be a central part of a person’s life and not be ‘just a pet’.

I am sure I can proudly speak on behalf of all the pet parents that our pets are our babies.

So it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your sorrow because pets mean the world to most of us.

But how do you cope with the loss of a pet or help someone get over this heartache?

From pet sympathy gifts to even brief helpful tips on how to get over a pet loss, I’ve got you covered, loves.

This is not only going to help you cope with your loss but also bring you or your loved ones closer to the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears.

(I’ve lost my fair share of pets in all my 28 years of life.

From losing a pet in my childhood to losing some in my teenage years to now waiting to lose Zoey in my adolescence years. 

*After who I shall have no pets.*

It has been a beautiful roller coaster ride that I shared with so many beautiful pets—who in their own avatar meant the world to me.

I would like to dedicate this article to my love Zoey

who in her world is just lazying around at home but in mine, is following angels around.)

“For so many years I tried to erase the animal that had shown me nothing but love, and just like that I allowed myself the right, the privilege of honoring his life—by mourning him!” 

— Reagan Pasternak

A Beautiful Loss Of A Pet Poem That Speaks Volumes To Me

A memory highlighted of a cat sitting by her human on a beautiful afternoon which represents a poem called i only wanted you, which is perfect for the loss of a pet

I Only Wanted You

They say memories are golden

well, maybe that is true.

I never wanted memories,

I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you,

a million times I cried.

If love alone could have saved you

you would never have died.

In life, I loved you dearly,

After death, I will love you still.

In my heart, you hold a place

no one could ever fill.

If tears could build a stairway

and heartache make a lane,

I’d walk the path to heaven

and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,

and nothing seems the same.

But as God calls us one by one,

the chain will link again.

~Vicky Holder

How to Cope with The Loss of a Pet?—Is it too soon?

A sad beagle puppy shown in a mourning state with the words how to cope with the loss of a pet written on the image.

I wish there was an answer to ‘how to get over the loss of a pet’?

There is no hard and fast answer to this godforsaken question, but there are ways.

Pets mean everything to some people, that’s why, according to some psychologists, losing a pet maybe even more distressing than losing a family member.

Getting over losing a pet wasn’t ever and will never be easy.

I can vouch for this though—the mourning process is incomparable but necessary.

Then again getting over the loss of a pet can be difficult but not impossible since resources exist to help you cope.

Here are my 6 top recommendations and tips to help you through the grief-

1. Take Your Own Sweet Time To Grieve

I’ll tell you one thing—grieving cannot and should not be forced or hurried along.

This is the first step for any loss you endure.

Your pet has been a part of your beloved family so getting over their death can take time. Just accept it as it hits you.

Listen, it takes time to get over your pet’s death and most importantly get used to them not being around anymore.

Sometimes the memories will come to you in waves or be triggered when you obliviously call out their name.

Or when you go to check on them, in their favorite napping place.

Or call out to them when you have whipped cream in your hand.

Some days it will soothe you down, and some days these memories will drown you.

There is no better answer to ‘how to get over a lost dog or any pet’ other than—to give it time and to grieve it out.

2. The Right Support Will Help You

Facing your grief comes second and that’s when things get tough.

You must—emphasis on must—express it.

The more to shelf your feelings the more you will be delaying your grief.

Now to address the elephant in the room—who will you generally turn to when your dog dies and you are sad?

Your best friend? Your family?

But do not be surprised by the snide comments like, ‘it was just a dog, get over it’ or ‘get another dog’.

It will be innocent on their part because not everyone knows what bond you share with your pet.

Losing a human gains more sympathy and understanding whereas with a pet loss people often become less caring and dismissive about your feelings.

Grief needs a shoulder to ease the pain.

Every person who has lost a dear pet should be allowed to express his feelings.

So if you need to speak your heart out to someone who understands what you’re feeling when you are suffering from a loss of a pet? 

These pet loss helplines may be of great help:

  • ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline – 877-474-3310
  • Cornell University Pet Loss Support Hotline – 607-253-3932
  • Tufts University Pet Loss Support Hotline – 508-839-7966
  • University of California, Davis, Pet Loss Support Hotline – 800-565-1526

3. A Letter, A Journal, A Scrapbook

Yes, talking to someone helps when it comes to processing feelings but not everything needs to be said out loud.

Writing a letter to your pet or creating a journal or scrapbook can help you process your feelings a lot.

You can reminisce and [express] unfiltered thoughts and feelings through journaling. 

It can even contain pictures of your pet, memories of the special places you visited, and other mementos.

This can be really helpful if you have a kid who has lost his best friend.

A ready-made pet loss journal helps you a lot and guides you through the process of it all.

Writing letters to your baby on their death day can make letting go easy. 

Every year you can jot down feelings in your letters and say goodbye till you meet again.

4. Take Tiny Steps But Move Forward

The most important part of the grieving process is to learn to let go.

I mean healing does not mean that you are cheating on them. 

It’s part of a process to feel complete again or to learn to live without your pet.

The question should never be ‘how to deal with losing a pet?’, it should always be ‘how to feel better after losing a pet?’.

Start with the most important tiny step like acceptance of your pet’s loss then life can take it from there.

Remember, your pet’s memories will never ever fade away and will always stay in your heart

—but it’s time to learn to let go and say goodbye loves.

It’s time.

It’s about time.

5. Never Rush To Replace Your Pet

Even though that place in your heart feels empty—just wait.

Don’t jump to the first opportunity you get to adopt a new pet. NO!

Take your time to cope with your loss of a pet.

If you are someone whose loved one has lost a furry best friend, just be there for them and talk them out of adopting a new pet. 

If the emotions are still raw it is going to turn into turmoil, believe me.

The resentment will set in before you even know it. Nobody has the right to replace your pet, not even you. Neither will the new one be able to replace it.

If you have other pets, try finding your solace within them.

When you build the courage to let another pet into your life—that is when you are ready. 

A very honest and personal opinion to you, whenever you are ready to get a new pet do not go for the same breed or same type.

Many furry babies out there need good homes. You might just be the human they are looking for too.

(By the time I had written content up till here—Zoey left me. Maybe for the better. This next point was ‘hold a memorial for your pet’ but this one ate me up. So here it is.)

6. Don’t F**king Feel Guilty—Just Don’t!

I know just like me many of you feel the same way. But please go easy on yourself.

I would’ve done everything in my power to save her, she knew that!

But there was nothing the doctors or I could do anymore. She didn’t want to fight anymore. 

The feeling of ‘how could I not have seen she was in pain’ lingered in me the moment I got her to the vet.

The guilt overtook me when the doctor said she was at the last stage of kidney failure.

Yes, I did blame myself for not seeing it, for waiting too long.

I begged for her to fight and not give up because I wasn’t ready to.

That was just me being selfish. I had to let her go.

Coping with a pet loss comes with great responsibility—first and foremost comes—forgiving yourself.

There can be a million reasons why your pet passed away but blaming yourself is not going to help you.

I know it feels like the end of the world but pick yourself up because didn’t your pet hate to see you sad?

Zoey hated it for sure!

Looking forward to seeing her across the rainbow bridge where she waits for me purring away.

Loss Of A Pet Gifts—Meaningful Pet Sympathy Gift Ideas For Your Loved Ones

An image of a girl and a cat sitting on a bench together to show the reminiscence of good times together. this image also stands for meaningful pet sympathy gift ideas for someone who is suffering from the loss of a pet.

Pet sympathy gifts help—period!

When someone gave me a necklace made out of Zoey’s name—it helped!

No, it’s not necessary to shower someone with gifts who has recently lost a pet. 

But the specific loss of pet gifts do help—not a great deal but they do.

The feeling of being assured through a beautiful pet remembrance gift by someone feels so empathic.

My loves, when someone suffers through even the tiniest inconvenience let alone such a big loss it breaks them.

But showing up with a thoughtful pet bereavement gift not only translates to showing up but with some extra love.

These 10 pet sympathy gifts made the top of my list so you can call them tried and tested.

1. A Pet Name Necklace

A pet name necklace worn by a woman in the neck shown as a sympathy gift idea to be given to someone who has lost their pet.

When Zoey passed, my mom got me a necklace made out of her name.

It was the most beautiful gift I have ever gotten. Hands down!

The fact that I get to touch her name if not her—that—that means a lot.

She got it made from a roadside vendor who carves the name from a piece of metal.

But you can get one made in gold, silver, or even platinum.

2. Pet Portrait

A photo to acrylic painting by PortraitFlip.

Photos do their work of being on your phone. I barely remember when was the last time I looked at her photos.

A pet painting on the other hand hits the right spot. 

Pet sympathy gifts mean to sympathize with your loved one about their loss. 

You cannot do that with a text. No sire!

Thankfully this painting service takes 3 weeks to deliver a painting, which can be a good deal in case of such a loss.

By the 4th week, you go back to normal and the painting is henceforth a reminder.

A reminder of what you ask? 

That it’s not okay that you have lost your best friend but looking at a painting will help you remember them and deal with pet loss.

This is not a ‘How to get over a dead pet 101?’ okay. Don’t get me wrong. 

It is a coping strategy. And an excellent one might I add.

Get your loved one a pet portrait here.

3. Wind Chimes Of Love

A wind chime shown as a pet sympathy gift for someone who is suffering from a pet loss.

I do believe that when your dead loved one is around you, the wind is extra breezy and cool.

One summer night it was so. 

Yes, it just could’ve been a very basic breeze but I chose to believe it was Zoey.

And I never wanted to miss such a breezy night again. 

Before my best friend got me the wind chime she said, “You said you never wanted to not know when she was around, and now you will know every time she is.”

To whomsoever, this may concern—get your loved one this beautiful pet sympathy gift.

See, it’s the thoughtfulness—I would’ve never thought about it on my own.

4. A Pet Remembrance Journal

A pet remembrance journal and some of its content shown as an example of pet sympathy gifts.

Your pet is gone and now your world has changed.

If I wasn’t too clear in the coping section. Let me tell you.

Grief is a tough thing to deal with alone and—journaling helps.

This is an exceptional pet remembrance gift if you ask me. Especially for people who love to write and maintain a journal. 

Part keepsake and part auxiliary in the grieving process equals the right tool.

It is designed to help you open yourself up and express your emotions with guides like—

 “Write a letter to your pet” 

“This always makes me think of you,” and 

“In what ways does your pet live on in you?” 

There are also open spaces where you may let your feelings lead the way.

Imagine them having a journal dedicated only to their pets. You have officially given them the best gift. 

You’re welcome!

5. Keychain

A keychain shown with the embossing of a cat's face with the words always and forever written on tit to show that it can be given as a pet sympathy gift to someone who has lost a pet.

Something that you always have on you is your keys, something that you always want to have with you? A pet that has passed away.

Get your loved one a keychain as a pet sympathy gift.

I know you probably think how is a keychain going to help in getting over the loss of a pet?

If you see them change their keychain to the one you just gave them know it is helping.

Everyone has their own grieving process and this keychain may just be exactly what they needed.

6. A Memory Box

A sympathy gift shown in the form of a pet remembrance box that has a person's dead pet's personal items like chew toy, leash and their pet's favorite toy.

This pet sympathy gift moonlights as a remembrance gift too. 

If you are very close to the person who has lost their pet, you will know exactly what to put in it. 

Their pet’s collar, their paw print, their favorite toy, or a pillow they would sit on. 

The list can go on and on and on.

Basically, anything that can bring a smile and make your loved one reminisce about the good times with their pet.

To go a step further you can even include the dirt from their pet’s grave or a small flask of their pet’s ashes.

7. The Purrfect Life Kit

A grow your own tree kit in the memory of a dead pet shown as a sympathy gift idea to be given to someone.

This is the best idea for a pet sympathy gift I can vouch for. 

Simple gifts can sometimes mean a whole lot and leave a lasting impact.

Flower seeds as a sympathy gift can look like it is nothing but trust me it is very helpful.

A tree is a phenomenal way to celebrate life, and this pet memory tree kit can be a thoughtful gift to present to any cat parent. 

You can even add a pet’s cremated remains into the soil if that is something that would bring more comfort to your loved one. 

The different choices of trees and flowers will serve as a cheery reminder every time they bloom.

8. Things I Learnt About Loss

A book of consolation that is meant to be given to someone who is coping with grief of their dead pet.

A heartfelt book of consolation and camaraderie for anyone coping with grief.

Sometimes it can be difficult for your loved ones to share their emotions because people are often inclined to keep their feelings to themselves.

This simple and truthful pet loss book offers a shoulder to lean on to anyone dealing with bereavement. 

Loosely following the phases of grief as a guide, the lovely 80-page hardcover uses examples from the author’s own experience to reassure us that we are not alone or wrong in our grief. 

A compassionate gift for yourself or anyone living with the loss of a pet. 

9. A Purr Wave

A soundwave of a person's dead cat's purrs or meows shown framed as an excellent idea for sympathy gift for someone who has lost their cat.

What would I not give to hear her purrs again?

If you have any video of your loved ones’ pets turn their barks, meows, purrs, or whines into soundwaves. 

This is a unique gift to give anyone who has lost their pet.

Even more so for someone who didn’t get to meet their pets for the last time.

The loss of a pet awakens many emotions but this one will hit a home run for the recipient, I bet you.

You can play the soundwaves after scanning the QR code. 

10. A Pet Pillow

Cat shaped pillows shown as could be sympathy gifts that can be given to someone who has lost a pet.

After losing a fur baby, sometimes you simply need to wrap your arms around anything.

These soft silhouette cat pillows are available in many colors, are a great reminder, and are really comfy to cuddle with.

They are made of cotton and are super comfortable. They may be used as a decorative cushion or something to keep in the bed.

Choose one of the three hues or get all three.

In my perspective, the more the better! You can even purchase one of these cute kittens for each member of the bereaved family.

Thoughtful Ways To Memorialize Your Pet Or Someone Else’s—Beautiful Pet Memorial Gifts

An image shows a woman with sad eyes hugging a dying dog with words written beautiful pet memorial gifts.

Pet memorial gifts are supposed to be given to pet owners to remember their fur babies.

Unlike sympathy gifts where you sympathize with your loved one about the loss of their pet—

memorial gifts are given to commemorate a pet to help owners to remember them forever. 

The whole point of a remembrance gift is to show your support to the person who is grieving.

Any present that is personal, considerate, and, most importantly, helps remember a pet’s positive memories are the best pet memorial gift.

They can contain essential information about your or your loved one’s pet.

Engraved messages or beautiful paintings can be worthwhile pet bereavement gifts if you don’t have the necessary details about their pets. 

These 7 pet memorial gifts are perfect for any pet owner who is very sensitive and may not be ready to view a photo or even the name of the pet. 

1. A Beautiful Memorial Pet Portrait

A photo to oil painting by PortraitFlip.

I would dedicate the world to her if I had the chance but for me, paintings speak volumes.

Once in their lifetime pet lovers come across a time when they suffer the loss of a pet.

Reanimate the beautiful memories that are stowed away in those phones after you or your loved one lost a pet.

I know it is not ideal to give something like this after the pet passes away but is purrfect gift for Christmas or on their death day.

Those are the days when the sulking actually happens and a tough day to deal with pet loss.

A painting is an exceptional pet memorial photo keepsake where the pet will be present with its beloved owner for life.

They live such short lives yet have such a drastic and lasting impact on us. So always love your pet the way they deserved to be loved.

Get a Pet Memorial Portrait 

2. Custom Pet Face Sculpture

A personalized felted face of a pet from photograph shown as a pet memorial gift for the loss of a pet.

This personalized felted pet from a photograph will bring your treasured fur baby back to life.

It’s not lifesize, and it’s just a few inches tall, but it’s a near-perfect duplicate of your pet’s face manufactured from fine, hypoallergenic materials.

With this fantastic reproduction pet plush animal, your beloved pet will be immortalized for all time.

With fake hair, hypoallergenic filling, and lifelike eyes, mastercraftsmen spent a lot of time and work recreating your fur pal.

When done, the stuffed and framed animal makes a lovely display piece.

This is an extraordinary pet memorial gift you can gift to yourself or someone you love.

Wakuneco is your go-to craftsman.

3. Diamond Painting Kit

A customized diamond painting of a deceased pet shown as a memorial gift idea.

With a bespoke diamond painting kit, you can make your pet’s affection sparkle like a diamond. 

Choose a favorite photo of your cherished pet and the firm will send you all of the materials you need to create your own DIY diamond painting that is ready to frame.

Diamond painting is the newest DIY craze, in which resin crystal-type beads are used to create a “painting” that sparkles like a diamond when finished. 

The user adds numbered beads onto a personalized canvas without using paint. 

This is a lovely pet memorial gift for a pet owner whose dog or cat has passed away. 

4. Pet Memorial Frame

Pet memorial frames that showcase a deceased pet's photos shown as a pet memorial gift.

How many photos of your pet do you have? 

You can easily change out the photos in this unique pet memorial photo frame as frequently as you’d like. 

This frame comes in 15 distinct wood textures and features a floral arrangement printed on the wood (if you choose). 

Fill up the blanks with your pet’s name and year of death.

5. Memorial Candle

A candle that can be given as a pet memorial gift to someone who is suffering the loss of a pet.

A glowing flame serves as a constant reminder that pets are never forgotten and that love endures. 

This candle is manufactured with sustainable materials such as 100 percent natural soy wax and a cotton wick. 

The jar may be used again and again, with a burn period of 60 to 70 hours. 

The exterior is stunningly embellished with a heart-shaped mosaic of rainbow paw prints.

It can also be scented with the scent of your pet’s favorite treat. A beautiful pet remembrance gift on a budget. 

6. Custom Pet Portrait Cufflinks

A personalized pair of cufflinks that show a cat's face embedded to show that it can be given as a pet memorial gift to someone who has lost a pet.

Your special pet has always been one gem of a friend to you, so why not show them off for the special treasure they were? 

You can transform a photo of your furry or feathered friend into a wearable work of art.

A gift to remember a pet that has your pet’s image engraved directly onto the silver.

 The result is this lovely keepsake that will last a lifetime, celebrating your bond with your #1 pet. 

It also includes the rubber stamp, which you can use to personalize cards, scrapbooks, and more. 

Handmade in Montpelier, Vermont.

7. A Memorial Ornament for Christmas

A Christmas ornament displayed as a pet memorial gift for a gift for Christmas  to someone who has lost a pet.

With this photo-based pet memorial ornament, even if they’re gone, your pet will never be forgotten, especially around the holidays. 

Choose a favorite photo of your beloved pet to be printed on a 2.75″ semi-gloss peel-resistant metal ornament. 

A meaningful comment will be written underneath their name and life span.

This can be a requisite pet memorial gift during the holidays.

Dedicated to Zoey—A Loss I Can Never Get Over

an image of Zoey, a doll faced persian cat shown to show that this article was dedicated to her, with the words in loving memory of the best thing that ever happened to me Zoey 2011-2022 written on it

For 11 years it was coming home and yelling out your name, until one day you didn’t tip-toe to greet me anymore.

I never thought I would lose you. But I did. So suddenly. 

Coping or getting over the loss of a pet seemed so textbook until I lost you. 

I miss your purrs, your biscuit-making skills, and most importantly, I miss you.

Mama, I know you are in a better place today but coping with losing you was the toughest thing I have had to do all my life.

There is no 101 on coping with the loss of a pet out there. 

Everyone has different chemistry with their pets and should find their own way out of the grief.

Everyone wants answers to “how to heal from losing a pet,” “how to get over a dead pet,” or “how to stop grieving over a pet”.

But no one tells you why you have to. 

I am sure you got your pet at a time when you needed him the most albeit to make you happy.

Why be sad now? Why hurt him by being unhappy? 

I know Zoey will send me a cat just like her one day, till then I shall wait. 

You taught me how to love limitlessly—others and myself. 

Thank you, my love.❤️

That’s All She Said…

Hi my loves,

Coping with the loss of a pet is—tough. Very tough. Very very tough.

Thank you for sticking around on this journey with me.

I am not someone who would want people to know what’s troubling me, but now you know.

I hope I did empathize with you enough.

Zoey was everything to me and sharing her loss made me feel okay.

Did you lose a pet too? Do let me know or share this article with someone who needs 💔

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube and follow us on Instagram.

Au Revoir!

Frequently Asked Questions

When someone suffers a loss of a pet, validate their feelings before anything else. Give them their space and time to grieve. Remind them to go easy on themselves. Hear them out. Gift them something in honor of their pet. Just let them feel what they want to until they feel okay.

Pets for some people aren’t ‘just a pet’. They can be someone’s mere source of happiness, they can be a companion to someone, the source of safety and comfort, or just their baby. When someone loses a pet, they aren’t just losing a pet; they are losing it all.

When someone loses a dog or any pet, sympathy gifs are the best idea you can lean on. You can find the best, tried, and tested pet sympathy and memorial gifts in this article and even some tips on how to help someone cope with the loss of a pet.

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