Symptoms of acute grief after the loss of a pet can last from one to two months, with symptoms of grief persisting up to a full year (on average).
A small 2019 study of 82 people found that the length of intense grief experienced by bereaved pet owners varies —with 25 % taking between 3 months to a year, 50% between one year and 19 months, and 25 % between two and six years.
A 2019 study examined the grief timeline in 82 people who lost a pet. About 25% experienced intense grief for 3 to 12 months, 50% for 12 to 19 months, and 25% for 12 to 24 months. So try not to compare your grief to other losses or rush through your feelings.
Acute grief symptoms after the death of a pet can last from one to three months and general symptoms of grief can continue, on average, for six months to a year This grieving period can vary significantly from person to person and can be much longer or shorter.
“One reason why losing a pet is such a deep loss is because animals' love is so unconditional and accepting,” she said. But it's also because so many aspects of people's lives are impacted. “Every single facet of life is part of the loss,” she explained.
Seventy-five responders reported the loss of a pet and filled out a battery of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I've often written about PTSD; it's defined as the recurring memories and heightened state of arousal that lingers for more than a month after a traumatic event.
The pets that we had to say goodbye to are alive in heaven right now in their spiritual bodies and we will see them again if we accept Jesus as our Savior. Your Pet Is Not Gone Forever.
You grieve the loss of your dog because you are human and you truly love your dog. Your feelings are real and need to be honored. Express your feelings and talk about the experience of your dog's life and death or loss.
Pet Loss and Mental Health
Some people experience mental symptoms of grief, which may include confusion, trouble focusing, constant dwelling on your pet, or thinking you see or hear your pet. Loss of an animal companion can also lead to anxiety and depression for some people.
And yet the death of a family pet can remind us of how vulnerable, precarious and precious life is. It's that process of acceptance and letting go that builds the resilience necessary to navigate an array of life's obstacles. We hone an ability to adapt to the evanescence of our lives with grace and hope.
Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it's important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold. Feeling sad, shocked, or lonely is a normal reaction to the loss of a beloved pet.
Therefore, when another pet dies, surviving pets will typically experience a sense of anxiety or stress. As a reaction to this sudden change in household dynamics, they may even frantically seek out the deceased pet. In many cases, the clinical symptoms of grief in pets will resemble separation anxiety.
In fact, sometimes that loss can feel as bad—or even worse—than the loss of a human friend or relative. That's not just anecdotal, either: Research has confirmed that for most people, the loss of a dog is comparable to the loss of a human loved one, in almost every way.
The consensus among the Christian denominations seems to be that, as Pope John Paul II said in 1990, animals do have souls. But they don't all agree on whether or not they're welcomed into heaven along with people.
It's not unusual for dogs to grieve the loss of a person they've bonded with who is no longer present. While they might not understand the full extent of human absence, dogs do understand the emotional feeling of missing someone who's no longer a part of their daily lives.
We enter heaven immediately upon our death, or our souls sleep until the second coming of Christ and the accompanying resurrection.
However, the loss of that companion can be devastating and traumatic. Humans develop a lasting attachment with their pets, which breaks at the loss of the pet. Regardless of the manner of death, a pet owner may perceive the death as traumatic and experience distress or exhibit posttraumatic stress symptoms.
Here are some examples of what not to say when a pet dies: "Don't cry." Crying is part of the grieving process for many people. "It's just a [dog/cat/etc.]." A comment like this that downplays the loss is mean and thoughtless. You don't know what the pet meant to that person.
Your pet's body is usually picked up by the crematorium and brought to the facility in their own transport. Pick-up timing will vary, depending on the arrangement that your practice has with the crematorium. Don't be afraid to ask if you would like to know.
If you believe that once a pet has passed away the body is just a shell, you can call your local animal control. They usually have low cost (or no cost) services to dispose of deceased pets. You can also call your veterinarian. You will need to bring your pet to the clinic but then they can arrange for disposal.
Psychologist Julie Axelrod has pointed out that the loss of a dog is so painful because owners aren't just losing the pet. It could mean the loss of a source of unconditional love, a primary companion who provides security and comfort, and maybe even a protégé that's been mentored like a child.
Crying after the death of a pet is a normal and healthy way of grieving. When we experience the death of a pet, the impact is profound, and at times it can be overwhelming. Having to make decisions on behalf of our pet can leave us wondering if we have done the right thing.
Relaxing occurs naturally after a dog passes away, but contraction does not. This means that although the eyelids may droop, they often do not close completely, as your dog no longer orders those muscles to contract.