Our pets give us unconditional love and are often one of our best friends.  They never judge or answer back, and they are normally pleased to see us.  However, our pets are never just pets.  They are friends, companions, working dogs, service animals or therapy animals, and for many people losing a pet is just as devastating and painful as losing someone they love; in some cases, even more so.

Although there will always be those who fail to understand the depth of grief felt for the loss of a much-loved pet, there is no doubt that those feelings are real and valid and, therefore, warrant a proper grieving process.

Everybody grieves in different ways: what may be right for one person may not be right for another.  For some people, the grief may confine them to their beds but others may want to throw themselves into their work to stop the feelings of sadness from surfacing.  However you manage your grief, it is important to try not to delay the grieving process.  At some stage, owners need to acknowledge the fact that their beloved animal has died.

It is fundamental to the healing process to accept that whatever feelings you are experiencing are perfectly natural.  Give yourself time: remember, this was a pet you loved and it could take weeks, months, or even longer before the sadness starts to lift.  Importantly, do not hesitate to seek support from understanding friends, relatives or professionals; what you are feeling is normal.  Plus, do not forget that grieving is an expression of the love that you had for your pet.