We all love our pets. They bring us great joy and we form many great memories. It’s easy to feel like our pets are a part of the family and we of course want them to stay a part of us for as long as possible. However, the sad truth is that most pets do not live very long lives compared to their human counterparts. Dealing with the loss of a pet can be just as difficult as dealing with the loss of another loved one. On the second Sunday of every September, also known as Pet Memorial Day, Vet Supply Source takes the time to remember all of the great pets lost over the years. This year, we’d like to offer four tips on coping with the loss of a pet.

1.       Give yourself time to heal. The best thing you can do after losing a pet is to give yourself time to heal. It’s okay to be upset; we all express grief in different ways. Your pet may have only been a part of your life for a short time period, but in that time you made memories and shared a love that will last a lifetime. Most importantly, it’s okay if you are not ready to go out and get another pet right away. The best thing you can do is to give yourself time to properly grieve before making any big decisions.

2.     Hold a pet memorial service.  You’d host a memorial service for a family member, so why not your pet, too? Your pet brings forward so many memories that many could rightfully argue that they are family, too. You can purchase eco-friendly urns and burial kits  to help you give your pet a proper burial and memorial service.  The urns are made from natural products like bamboo making them safe for the environment. Some of these kits even include sympathy cards and a seeded leaf to plant next to your pet’s burial. The leaf will blossom into beautiful wild flowers that will bloom every year to create a special, beautiful memorial for your pet. Every year when the flowers come to bloom, you will be reminded of the great memories and love you shared over the years with your pet.

3.       Find unique ways to keep their memory alive. Your pet may be gone, but that doesn’t mean they will be forgotten. Look for unique ways to keep their memory alive forever, such as tattoos. Many tattoo artists can tattoo a photo of your pet or some other symbol that memorializes your pet. This is a very special and unique way to always have them with you. If you’re not quite ready for that kind of a commitment, you can have your pet made into a stuffed animal, figurine, or simply have a ceramic memorial created in their honor. Cuddle Clones can make all three of these to look identical to your pet. Simply upload a photo and order and you should have it within a few weeks. This is especially great for young children who may be struggling to cope with the loss of their pet.

4.       Volunteer or donate to your local shelter. When we volunteer or give back to the community, we feel better about ourselves. Think about how much joy your own pet brought you. Surrounding yourself with other animals by volunteering at your local shelter could help you to feel a bit better. If you don’t think you’re ready for that quite yet, you can still help by donating. Maybe you have some unopened cans of food, a crate, or even flea treatments for cats that you no longer have a use for. Animal shelters are always in need of extra food or supplies and would be very happy to have such a generous donation. We bet your furry companion would approve too!

The loss of a pet is always difficult. However, it is important to remember the good times you had with your pet and to cherish those memories. Your pet may not physically be with you any longer, but their memories and spirits can live on.