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Pet Loss

How To Deal With Pet Loss

Pet Loss Paws at Peace DallasWhen it comes to pet loss, it can be a very challenging time for the owner, and on top of that, not everyone will understand the way you feel or why. Many non pet owners can’t seem to understand why pet owners get, so upset when their pet passes on, they think ‘it’s just a pet’, but many owners have developed such a strong bond and relationship that it’s just like losing a loved one. Today we will take a look at how we can deal with pet loss, and some steps toward recovering from such a great loss, and remembering our best friend.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that it is ok to cry, it is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that this is how much we loved our beloved pet, and it will also help in the recovery process. Letting your emotions out is quite an important part of moving on, and in many cases can help relieve some of the stress and anxiety that comes with losing a loved one. When we lose a loved one it is normal to feel many emotions, like guilt, anxiety, anger and even rage, but these mixture of emotions will pass in time, it is also important to some extent to ‘go through the motions’.

All the mixed emotions we go through when losing a pet can be almost identical to that of losing a close relative or friend, so it is also important we talk about our loss. Try to find a friend who knows what you’re going through, maybe someone who has lost a pet themselves, it won’t help talking to a friend who has never had a pet, or doesn’t understand your loss. Once you can talk to someone who understands then let your emotions out. In addition, talk about how you feel, and the kind of relationship you had with your pet, all this will help shed some of the burden, and actually make you feel a little better.

Another thing many pet owners do when they lose their loved one is to create some sort of memorial to them, like maybe a photo album of past pictures taken in happier times. Moreover, if there are children in the home they will share the loss, and sometimes be overwhelmed with the passing of their favorite pet. Therefore, talk with them about how happy their pet made them feel, and maybe create a memorial to him, like planting a tree and dedicating it to the lost pet. If, you have decided to bury your pet in the garden, you can decide to mark the grave with a small headstone, or by planting a rose tree. However, be certain to talk it over with everyone within the family, and make it a joint decision.

Some people like to write their feelings down in a journal, and this can often help, especially if you don’t have someone to talk with who really understands what you are going through. After a while you will find you will spend less time thinking about the loss, but rather all the happy times you had together, and this is when you can decide if you are ready for another best friend, or take a break for a little while. That being said, some pet owners find it makes it easier to volunteer for the local pet shelter, and this may also be where you find someone to talk to about your loss, as well as helping others find a best friend too.

Finally, when losing your best friend, whether it be a dog, cat, or any other pet that you have become very close to, remember that time heals, and over time you will feel less emotional when thinking of your best friend, and eventually be able to move on. As with the loss of a family member, you never really get over it, but you will eventually think positively when thinking about the lost loved one, things you see each day will remind you of the good times you had together. Nevertheless, just be sure not to let your feeling bottle up inside, it is important to let it out in order for you to move on, do something positive relating to your loved one, and avoid any negativity, as he wouldn’t have wanted that for you when remembering him, or her.

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Making Senior Pets Comfortable In Their Last Year Of Their Lives

Making Senior Pets Comfortable In Their Last Year Of Their Lives - Paws at PeaceAfter spending more than a decade with our best friend, we know the inevitable is going to happen, but really don’t want to think about it. However, we still want what is best for him, and it’s still our job as a pet parent to take care of him the best we can and make him as comfortable as we can during his final year. The bond between a man’s best friend, and his owner often can’t be matched by anything else. Moreover, only you can know his preferences, dislikes, and favorite petting spots, whether it’s his ears or his belly. That being said, let us talk a bit more about other things that can make him more comfortable during this final phase of his life.

Many dogs in their last year of life prefer the quiet, so keeping him away from loud noises, or playing children may make him feel more secure at this time in his life. Also, at this point in time his joints may be aching, and he may even have arthritis, so it is important to make sure he has something soft to lay on, as hard floors will just make it worse. Talking to him in a soft tone, and petting him whenever he allows it will let him know that you still care about him, and that everything is going to be ok.

As he gets closer to his final days he may not be able to walk very far, so another thing you may want to consider is giving him his meals close to where he is most comfortable. Also, hydration is still important at this time of his life, so you should always keep a bowl of water close by, so he can take a drink whenever he needs one. Having said that, he may be at a stage where he can’t eat much solid food. Therefore, you may want to start giving him a liquid food, or mash his food up into a soup for him, so it is easier for him to digest.

Another thing that happens in the last days is he may have accidents, not being able to get outside quick enough for a bathroom break, so be sure to keep him in a place where it is easier to clean up any mess. Moreover, it is also important not to punish him at this late stage in life, it’s not his fault, just let him know everything is ok and don’t make a big thing about it, or it will just cause unnecessary stress. If he has a favorite food, a favorite toy, or even a favorite blanket, make sure all these things are around him or close by, so that he can see them, as this again will make him feel more secure.

It is also important to remember that at this point in their life pets cannot regulate their body temperature as well as they used to, so you may want to place a warm blanket over him if he shows signs of feeling cold. Some owners in the last days decide to sleep with their dog, either putting a makeshift bed by your dogs bed, or letting him sleep on your own bed, this can give him added comfort and security. If you can’t get time off work to be with him in his final days, try to get a good friend to sit with him, and maybe record some of his activity when you’re not there.

Finally, something that can often make senior pets feel more relaxed, and comfortable in their final days is soft music, and you can purchase music with just wildlife sounds, with birds singing and running water. Whatever method you choose to make your senior pet feel comfortable in their final year, it will surely let him know that you still care deeply for him, and that you are there for him just like he has been there for you for many years. Always be sure to take pictures, or video of your best friend, so you can look back and remember all the wonderful times you had together, and that he will always be in your heart, even when he’s passed on.

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Pain Management For Terminally Ill And Senior Dogs

Pain Management For Terminally Ill And Senior Dogs - Paws at PeaceMost pet owners that have had the pleasure of spending many wonderful years with their best friend will tell you how sad, and hurtful it can be when they are diagnosed with a terminally ill condition. We all know that sooner, or later our pet is going to reach the end of his life, but we’d rather not think about it until it is upon us. However, there are things we can do to make our pet feel better in his last days. This article will discuss some of the things we can do to make our terminally ill pet feel a little more comfortable during those last days, and when to consider euthanasia as an option.

End of life care for our beloved pet doesn’t always mean pain and discomfort, because now there are many things we can do to ease their suffering, unlike many years ago when the only option would have been to euthanize him or her. With so much progress being made with medication’s now, pain can be managed much better, so our pet doesn’t need to suffer and feel the discomfort that pain brings. Moreover, this is the time we, as responsible pet owners, can show our pet just how much they are loved by taking extra special care of them in their time of need.

One of the first things we need to do with our elderly pet, or a pet that has been diagnosed with a terminal condition is to make sure we keep appointments with the vet, so that our pet can be monitored and catch signs of any deterioration. In addition, make sure your best friend is surrounded by his, or her favorite things, like a special toy, warm blanket, or maybe a favorite cushion he loves to snuggle into. Pets with very limited mobility can develop sores, so be sure to check this often, especially on the joints, and provide an extra soft pillow for them to lay on.

Many older pets can develop incontinence and lose bladder control, so you should check them often throughout the day for wetness or soiling. Having said that, you can help them when they need to defecate, or urinate by supporting them with a sling, or a alternatively you can use a towel that can support their belly to assist them. Moreover, making them as comfortable as possible in their final days will let them know that you still love them as much as when the day they came into your life, reassuring them by talking to them, and staying in sight as much as you can will help them too.

Another option for terminally ill, and senior dogs is pet hospice care, where your pets final days, or weeks are made much easier with the use of carefully managed pain medications. As well as pain management, hospice care will also include dietary changes, and strategies along with human interaction, allowing your pet to live their final days with dignity. Hospice care generally requires constant supervision, and interaction, with you as the primary carer, and nurse while working together with your vet to make your pets last days as comfortable and pain free as possible.

Euthanasia is clearly a last resort, and not everyone likes to think or talk about it, but in many cases it is wise to at least consider it, especially if your pet is suffering greatly, or pain medication isn’t working. Your vet is specifically trained to enable him to carry out this procedure in a humane manner providing your pet with a pain free, gentle way to go, just like he was falling asleep. Of course this decision lies solely on you as the owner, and sometimes keeping a diary of his final days can allow you to weigh up if it is time to make this decision.

Finally, when it comes to an older pet, or a terminally ill pet, decisions can be extremely hard to make due to the stress, worry and not wanting our best friend to leave us. In the end we have to think of our pet, and his level of suffering, and our job as a responsible pet parent should be to base our decision on what is best for him or her. It is hard to say goodbye to a loved one whether it be human or pet, and there is nothing anyone can say to alleviate the pain we feel when losing a loved one, but we will always have the memories to cherish forever, even after they are gone.

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Dealing With Pet Loss

Pet LossFor pet owners, pet loss can be extremely distressing, with a mixture of emotions, which can compare to losing a close family member, after all a dog is “a mans best friend”, and in many cases that is very true for pet owners. Having said that, many people that don’t own a pet cannot understand our loss, and the way we feel about it, but for those who have lost a beloved pet how do we deal with that loss? Every individual deals with loss in a different way, but there are things you can do to help cope with that loss, and here in this article we will discuss some of the things to help us cope with such a loss.

For many pet owners it’s not ‘just’ a dog or cat, it is a close family member you have spent many years creating a special bond with, and for some it is even a closer bond than some real family. From getting him as a puppy, and spending maybe the first year training him, to teaching him tricks, and watching him grow as well as the hours spent walking and talking with him, seeing him perform his amusing antics. Moreover, many pet owners will tell you there is a bond there that cannot be duplicated with a human, it’s really that close in many cases.

However, when the time comes that our beloved pet parts ways with us, we feel a huge loss, like a large part of our life has been ripped away from us, and there is a big hole that cannot be filled. That being said, it is not the same for everyone, but for many this is exactly how it feels, and many of us do not know how to cope, and wonder if we will ever feel the same again. It is true that nothing will ever replace our best friend, and the pain doesn’t go away, just like with a loved one, but time does ease it, and you end up with lovely memories that you can talk to others about, and maybe share stories about how mischievous he was, or even show photos if you took any.

In the meantime, wondering how we will cope can be frustrating as there is a mixture of emotions when losing a pet, like anxiety, guilt, anger, depression and even denial, but eventually you will find resolution and acceptance. Having said that, you should not try to hide your feelings and keep it bottled up, that makes it worse and it lasts longer. If, you need to cry then don’t be afraid to cry, and although friends and family members may not understand fully what you are going through, it may be more appropriate to talk with someone you know who has also lost a pet. Moreover, someone who fully understands what you are going through can be more help than others close to you who don’t quite get it.

After losing a beloved pet, it is only natural for one to feel alone, sad or even frightened for a time, this is all part of the healing process. In addition, you should try to think of all the good times you had, look through photos, or videos you took and let the tears flow if need be. For some the healing process can begin with a funeral, depending on the individual, a chance to say goodbye properly, and show your feelings openly without the threat of ridicule from those who don’t understand what you’re going through.

Some people who lose a beloved pet find some solace in creating a memorial, like planting a tree in memory of the one you lost, creating a legacy to celebrate the time you had with a best friend. Creating a scrapbook of memorable photos of your pet to share with others when the time is right can also be helpful. Additionally, you may find that in the beginning your loss may effect your daily routines, and sometimes even your health, and one shouldn’t be afraid to seek out professional help in these times, either a doctor, or mental health professional can evaluate you and maybe give you some medication to help you through the worst part, especially if you’re suffering from depression over the loss.

When dealing with the loss of a beloved pet, the stress and emotional toll it can take can seem overwhelming, and drain you of energy and emotional reserves. During this time, it is important to look after your health and believe that you will get through this. However, also remember that it just takes time, more with some people than with others. Keep in mind, that there is no set time frame that you get over something like this, as it can take weeks, months or in some cases years. Living with your beloved pet for so long, in many cases up to 15 years or more, can leave a void in your life once they are gone, and it is important to find something that can help fill that void, the time you use to spend with your pet.

While living with your pet took up a great part of your time, you need to try and fill that time with something positive, like taking up an old hobby that you let go. Moreover, it is also important to have friends, and family around to support you in your time of need, and if there isn’t anyone close that understands how you feel, visit some online forums where you can talk to others who have gone through what you are going through now. Eventually, as the healing process gets underway, you will find you will be able to visit some friends you maybe met in the park while walking your dog, and maybe consider looking at a future best friend, not one that will replace your loss, but creating a new best friend, after all you did make life wonderful for the one you recently lost, and you can do it again.

Take a moment to leave a memorial to your pet on our memorial wall.