10 Ways to live with pet loss

TEN Ways to help live with the loss of your pet

1. Give yourself permission to grieve.

You’ve experienced a tremendous loss, a faithful companion who gave you unconditional love. It is normal after this loss to feel sad and worn down for a while. Take all the time you need to heal.

2. Understand that guilt often accompanies grief, especially when dealing with animals

Your pet couldn’t tell you that he/she was sick, so you may feel guilty for not taking her to the vet sooner. Or you may feel at fault if your pet was injured after escaping from the yard. Guilt is a reflection of how responsible you felt for the care of your pet; it is a human response to grief after this loss.

3. Find a special way to say good-bye to your pet.

Have a family ritual or ceremony celebrating his life and acknowledging his death. Write a letter, a poem, or a special tribute.

4. Pick a meaningful way to memorialize your pet.

Make a scrapbook, plant a tree, donate your time or money to a worthy animal charity.

5. Find at least one person you can talk to openly about your loss and share your feelings.

Realize that family members or other loved ones may grieve differently or be in too much pain to support you. Recognize that you may need professional help to get through this.

6. Creatively express your feelings.

Write down whatever you’re feeling in a journal. You may choose to work out your emotions in clay, paint, pastels, etc. Celebrate the life you shared with your companion.

7. When you feel strong enough, think about helping others.

peak openly and honestly with your children. Join a pet loss support group. Volunteer at the Humane Society. Find an internet chat room for pet loss and bereavement.

8. Be especially good to yourself, because it takes a lot of energy to grieve.

Try to eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest. Taking care of yourself physically can help in your emotional healing.

9. Each day, do at least one thing that brings you joy.

Take a walk, garden, watch the sunset, listen to music, see a funny movie. And allow yourself to laugh! Laughter has great healing power.

10. If you decide to get another pet, do so only when you are ready.

You will never be able to replace the pet you have lost; it takes time to emotionally invest in another.

The following list is a brief summary of what can be expected when choosing to have us care for your pet in his or her final minutes.

  • Sedation prior to euthanasia
  • Aftercare arrangements for burial or cremation
  • Gentle, painless euthanasia
  • Customized memorial ceremony
River Valley Gateway does offer three levels of care, level 1 which is palliative care, level 2 which is early hospice care and level 3 which is advanced hospice care. We will work with your primary veterinary hospital in obtaining recent diagnostic tests to help complete an individualized plan.
Schedule and Appointment
We will do our best to accommodate your schedule and be compassionate about your needs. Call or email us for an in-home visit.
“Most attentive vet service I have ever experienced.”
~Kevin Hart, Grand Junction, CO
“Most attentive vet service I have ever experienced”
~Kevin Hart, Grand Junction, CO

In-Home Visit Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Evening & Weekend Visits
by request


River Valley Gateway
573 25 Road
Grand Junction, CO 81505

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(970) 250-8493

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