Why am I grieving so much for my dog? Here’s What to Expect

Making the decision to put a pet to sleep

Deciding to put your animal companion to sleep is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make for your pet. As a loving pet owner, though, the time may come when you need to help your pet make the transition from life to death, with the help of your veterinarian, in as painless and peaceful a way as possible.

What Makes the Human-Canine Bond so Special?

Losing a dog can be such a heartbreaking experience that dog owners have compared it to losing a close family member or friend. Some dog owners (perhaps with a bit of guilt) even go on to describe that the pain felt from losing a dog is even more intense than that experienced from losing a close family member or friend (or that the feeling was quite different).

Many perceive their canine companions to be their soul mates—special heart dogs who are very cherished and loved.

The bond between a dog and its owner is a very strong one. Dogs accept us for who we are, and the unconditional love they provide us with makes us very appreciative of having them in our lives. It is normal to feel a sinking feeling of depression, perhaps even desperation, after losing a furry friend after so many years spent together.

Its as if the whole balance of life is gone. With more and more people perceiving dogs as furry family members, dogs and their families form strong units that are in a perfect state of homeostasis. Then, along comes death as a result of an accident, aging, or some terminal illness, and that blissful state of homeostasis is gone for good; the family unit is now out of balance.

Denial: Is my dog truly gone?

★★★★★ HelpGuide is a top-rated nonprofit

Our mission is to provide empowering, evidence-based mental health content you can use to help yourself and your loved ones.

Pet loss grief; the pain explained | Sarah Hoggan DVM | TEDxTemecula

Understanding the five stages of grief is an important part in healing from the loss of a pet.