If you have ever been lucky enough to have a pet dog in your life, then you would know how fulfilling and rewarding that experience might be. However, like all other living things in this life, a dog is not invincible.
And the sad thing about dogs’ lives is that they don’t really last as long as a human’s. And if you have ever had to say goodbye to a dog in the past, then you would know just how deeply painful and excruciating of an experience it can be.
At the end of the day, even though a pet may seem like just a mere animal you take care of and share a living space with, it’s so much more than that. A pet dog is someone you consider to be a major part of your family.
You establish a very special and profound kind of bond with your pet. They become a constantly reliable companion who is there for you whenever you need them to be. They become a genuine best friend. That’s why it can be very painful to lose a dog. It really is a different kind of sadness.
A lot of times, a dog owner is going to have to go through a very hard time when grieving and processing the loss of a best friend. The grieving process isn’t something that anyone can just rush or skip over.
People who have never had the opportunity to look after a pet may not understand why the loss of an animal can have such a profound effect on human beings.
These pet owners are often told by those who understand that they should just “get over it” since they only lost a dog and not a human being. But that kind of statement can only worsen an already immense level of pain.
And that’s not just pet owners being overdramatic about everything. No. Science has actually confirmed that it’s not abnormal for pet owners to mourn over the loss of the dog.
It’s very much a real and valid emotional experience. Studies have already shown that it can be just as hard to get over the loss of a pet than it is to get over the loss of a beloved human being in a person’s life. And if you’re curious to hear more about this study, then you can just read on until the end of this article.
You might not be a believer just yet. You might be a naysayer. You might be someone who doesn’t buy into the whole idea that pets’ lives can have profound effects on their owners.
And if you’re just not convinced, then maybe by the end of reading this article, you will end up changing your mind.
Here are a few very real reasons (as confirmed by science) why losing a pet can be just as difficult an experience as losing a close human companion.
1. There’s a special bond that is formed between a pet and an owner.
And once that bond is broken because of death, it can be very difficult to recover and be okay again. It’s like you lose a part of yourself when you lose a pet dog.
2. There is a stigma attached to grieving over pets which makes it difficult for them to perform properly.
Sometimes, a person doesn’t really go through the proper grieving process when they lose their pets. This is all because there is a stigma attached to these people who are grieving over their pets. And that’s what makes it so difficult.
3. You lose the love and comfort of another living creature.
They might just be “animals” to the eyes of others. But they are still living creatures who are capable of giving and emanating love. And to lose a love from anyone (whether human or not) is always going to be an unfortunate ordeal.
4. You are forced to confront a change of routine in your life as a result of a loss.
When you are a responsible pet owner, then you know that there is a certain routine that you stick to every day. And it’s always difficult when you are forced to stray away from a routine that you have grown accustomed to over the years.
At the end of the day, it’s always going to be a heartbreaking experience whenever you lose a dog or any kind of pet for that matter. And if you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed with all of your negative feelings and emotions, know that it’s okay.
You should know that all of your feelings are completely valid and you don’t have to worry about any stigma or judgment. It’s perfectly okay for you to grieve over the loss of a pet.
And if other people don’t understand you, that’s okay. At least you can take solace in the fact that science is here to affirm your feelings and give validation to what you’re going through.