Saying Goodbye to a Pet: 5 Tips for Preparing

by Taylor Evans July 29, 2022 4 min read

The loss of a pet can be devastating. Our furry companions become a big part of our lives. Their loss is keenly felt by the entire family and the friends they made along the way. Sometimes, the death of a pet comes suddenly. However, terminal illness or old age can sometimes mean spending weeks or months planning and preparing for their passing.

While we cannot avoid the pain and grief of their loss, these five tips can help you prepare for your good-byes.

How to Prepare for the Loss of a Pet – 5 Tips

1. Make Each Moment Count

Many of us take time for granted, even with our pets. We assume they will be there tomorrow and the week after that. However, when you know your pet’s days are numbered, it’s important to stop taking that time for granted and make each moment count while you can.

Do the things you’ve always wanted to do with your pet. Create a bucket list and check off as many items as you can with the time you have left.

  • Take family photos
  • Make special meals or treat them
  • Splurge on comfort items, like beds and blankets
  • Go on camping trips
  • Visit your pet’s favorite places

Make the most of every moment you have together and create joyful memories that you can cherish after they cross the Rainbow Bridge.

2. Shower Your Furry Friend with Love

You love your pet and there is no better time than now to shower them with love and attention.

  • Cuddle together
  • Give plenty of pets 
  • Play fetch outside if your pet can still run
  • Give plenty of praise
  • Surround your pet with their favorite toys

Make sure that your pet’s last days are full of love and joy.

Remember that it’s also okay to feel anticipatory grief. While these emotions are unpleasant, it’s okay to let them in and accept them. It’s all part of the grieving process and will ultimately help you on your journey to healing from your loss.

3. Consider Pet Funeral Arrangements

While it may not be something you want to think about, it’s important to consider your pet’s funeral arrangements. Making these decisions before their passing will save you the stress of having to make them while you’re grieving.

Cremation is the most common option for pets, but you may also opt for a burial service.

For burials, you may wish to have a custom plaque created with your pet’s name and a touching phrase to remember them by. In addition, many funeral homes now offer pet burial services, and you can purchase a plot in a pet cemetery to lay your furry friend to rest.

In either case, consider whether you would also like to hold a memorial for your pet. Even if the memorial is only for your immediate family, it can be a great way for everyone to say their good-byes (especially young children).

If you decide that cremation is the right choice for your pet, consider what type of urn you may want for your furry friend. A paw print cremation urn is universal, but you can also find special designs for cat and dog cremation urns. You can also find pet ashes necklace options, which allow you to keep your pet close to your heart always.

When a beloved pet is dying, we may feel like we have very little control over things. Choosing your pet’s urn or cremation jewelry may give you back some sense of control and may even bring some bit of comfort. You are deciding how you will remember and honor your pet, and that can be empowering in a time when everything feels chaotic.

4. Lean on Your Support System

Now is a difficult time for you and your family. Lean on your support system and talk about what you’re going through. Your friends and family love and support you. They can offer a shoulder to cry on or even accompany you to the vet.

The decisions you will have to make in the coming weeks or months will be difficult, but having a supportive friend or family member by your side can make things just a little bit easier.

Sometimes, grief can make it difficult to think clearly and make decisions. Having a friend or loved one attend vet appointments will make it easier to make these decisions. They can explain what the vet is saying and help you make sense of the choices before you.

5. Honor Your Pet

Consider how you would like to honor your pet after their passing. A memorial service is a wonderful way to share memories of your pet and for those who loved them to share in your grief.

If you plan to cremate your pet, consider family members or friends who may want pet ashes jewelry or another keepsake to remember your beloved pet. You may also want to consider pet cremation jewelry for yourself. You can find many options, including paw print jewelry and special dog cremation jewelry that will remind you of your pet each time you wear it.

Honoring your pet can also mean:

  • Placing a special statue or memorial plaque in the garden
  • Planting a tree in remembrance of your pet
  • Creating a personalized frame for your pet’s picture

There are many ways to honor pets and keep their memory alive. Choose to honor your pet in a personal way and in a way that you feel comfortable.

Saying Good-Bye is Never Easy

Pets give love unconditionally, and that makes it even harder to say good-bye when the time comes. These five tips can help you prepare to say your good-byes, but grief and sadness will surely follow. It’s natural to grieve the loss of a pet, and it’s okay to feel these emotions.

Loss is difficult, whether it’s a four-legged or two-legged friend. Honoring our lost pets and holding memorials can help us say good-bye, bring closure and keep their joyful memories close to our hearts.


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