Friendly advice on coping with the loss of your pet

Is your pet having increasing difficulty walking, eating, playing, sleeping or breathing? Are they very old or suffering from a serious illness? Do you spend all your time worrying about your furry friend and are heartbroken to see them weakened? The Chico team has prepared some friendly advice on how to prepare for your pet’s departure, as well as ways to honour their memory and grieve.

A difficult decision

The grieving process starts the moment you realize your pet will never be the same again. At this point, you may start to come to terms with the idea of losing them. Although often overlooked, mourning a pet can be extremely painful, especially if they’ve been a part of your life for many years.

When there’s no hope of recovery, it may be necessary for you to consider having your pet euthanized to spare them from unnecessary pain and suffering. While you may feel guilty making this choice, euthanasia may be the kindest option for an animal who has a significantly diminished quality of life.

The final moments

The day you have your pet euthanized won’t be easy. However, just know that your veterinarian and their team are used to dealing with people who are upset at the prospect of losing their faithful companion and will be understanding and empathetic.

You’ll be given plenty of time to say goodbye to your pet, who may be given medication to soothe their nerves. If you’re comfortable doing so, you can be present during the euthanasia. You may also have the option to hold your pet in their final moments, which may help you grieve. You can rest assured the process is entirely painless and your pet will pass away gently and quietly.


You may want to opt to have your pet’s remains cremated. This way, you can collect the ashes and place them in a decorative urn or scatter them in a special place. You may also have the option of burying your pet in a pet cemetery.

Furthermore, you may want to consider keeping some of your pet’s fur or ashes to incorporate into a keepsake, such as a piece of jewellery or key chain. Another meaningful keepsake is having your pet’s paw print pressed onto an ink pad or clay mould. Ask your veterinarian about the different options available to you.

A funeral service

Holding a funeral to mark the death of a loved one can help ease the grieving process. Since the pain of losing a pet is similar to that of losing a beloved family member, you may want to hold a small funeral to help you mourn your loss. When your pet dies, it can be hard to get back to feeling normal as taking care of them was part of your daily routine.

If you do plan on holding a small ceremony, it’s best to invite friends and family who will be empathetic to your sadness and help you recall fond memories of your pet. You can set up a memorial table where you light candles or place a bouquet of flowers next to the urn or picture of your pet. The ceremony doesn’t have to be complicated; simply make it your own.

The grieving process

You shouldn’t repress any emotions related to grief, such as denial, anger, sadness and guilt. It’s important to allow yourself to feel every emotion and be kind to yourself as you adjust to life without your pet. If those around you minimize your grief, you can turn to support groups or consult a professional to help you process your grief in a safe and comforting space.

Finally, don’t make the mistake of immediately adopting a new pet. Give yourself ample time to grieve. When you’re ready, you’ll be able to bond with another animal.

A team dedicated to the well-being of your faithful companions

At Chico, we love all animals, whether they’re furry, feathered or scaled. Do you need food or accessories for your faithful friend? Could your dog or cat use quality grooming? If so, visit a Chico store near you.