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Is it normal to be so upset over the death of a pet?

24 Answers
Last Updated: 11/02/2020 at 5:11pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Andrea Tuck, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I tackle and discuss a multitude of social and emotional health issues. I have a belief that through empowerment and non-judgmental support clients' can thrive.

Top Rated Answers
November 2nd, 2016 12:14am
Yes it is! For many people, a pet becomes a trusted and beloved member of the family. And in many cases, pet owners feel their pet is the only being in their life who loves them unconditionally, despite their flaws. Many people I know have chosen not to have children and treat their pets much like a parent treats a child. So the bonding to a pet can be very strong. This means that losing this pet will induce grief just like losing a human loved one will. Resist the urge to feel "silly" when other people do not understand your grief. Treat is a normal grief in that it will take time to heal.
October 21st, 2016 2:04pm
Absolutely. It depends on the person how they deal with it. Some cry for weeks, some forget about it right after it happened. Whatever the reaction, it's probably understandable psychologically.
October 27th, 2016 1:10pm
Grieving over any loss is completely acceptable. Accept the grief and let yourself move through it as fast or as slow as you need.
October 31st, 2016 5:16am
Of course. Your pet is like your partner. You play with them, take care of them, they make you happy in return. Losing a pet is like losing a close friend, and the grief increases the closer you were to your pet.
October 30th, 2016 3:28am
Of course. Losing a pet is the equivalent of losing a best friend.
November 21st, 2016 11:00am
Yes, it is very normal to be distraught after a pet passes. Pets are family members, and often times are much more loyal and loving than most humans. As hard as it is to lose a close companion, it will get better with time. Though it definitely isn't going to be the same, there are always pets out there waiting for your love, and they will be more than happy to reciprocate this love.
April 25th, 2017 3:56am
A very wise person once said that the only way to take the sadness out of grieving is to take the love out of life. That's not a trade-off I'd be willing to make. Pets become part of our families. They rely on us and we rely on them. They love us unconditionally. They hear us weep and snuggle closer. Of course it's normal to feel sad after a pet dies. If your loss is keeping you from living your life (you can't go to work, you're bickering with family members) or you are still feeling intense pain after some time has passed, it might be a good idea to seek some professional help. There are therapists trained in pet loss and talking to them can be very helpful. But it's perfectly "normal" to be upset when you lose a pet.
July 3rd, 2017 8:14pm
It's very normal. Especially if the pet was very close to you, pets can become like family to some people and when they lose them they feel like they lost a family member they really loved
July 4th, 2017 5:03pm
Absolutely! Pets are part of your family. Just like losing a family member or friend, when a pet dies we go through a period of grieving. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and express them in healthy ways. In time, the memories of your beloved pet will bring happiness instead of only sorrow. Hugs...
May 21st, 2018 5:42pm
Absolutely, pets are living being that in time become nothing short of family members. Intensity of grief will depend on people and how much of a "person" they consider their pet to be. Hang in there friend!
August 28th, 2018 9:10pm
The passing of a pet is heartbreaking. They have been with you however long and missing them is hard on the heart. For me, I have lost a family dog and it hurt me so much. I was extremely upset and didn’t want to think about not having him around. But I got some very kind words when it happened and it make me realize that he was old and it was his time. I had to remember that wherever he is, he’s at peace. Knowing all of that information was what was able to get me through that time.
April 14th, 2020 3:12am
It is completely normal to be upset over the death of a pet. A pet, like a human being, can be the source of a deep connection. I understand how upsetting it can be to lose a pet, as I have experienced it myself. However, everyone feels differently, and there is no conclusion to how you should handle grief. What is important for everyone is to be considerate towards themselves and their emotions. Let yourself grieve the loss of your loved one and consider any emotion that comes along. Every situation is different, and the best you can do is let yourself feel.
November 2nd, 2020 5:11pm
Yes it is. Many people get emotionally attached to their pets, which is a normal thing. They bring us happiness as much as human beings do, losing a pet can be as hard as losing a friend or family member. There is support out there to help you overcome hard feelings during times of grief.
April 4th, 2017 10:29am
I had a guinea pig when I was 17 and it had babies, I was so upset when the runt of the pack died, it only lived for 4 days but we bonded so much when I had to nurse it and wake in the night to feed it. I was honestly devastated. I know people who have had dogs and had to take personal days from work to grieve. Its definitely normal!
May 8th, 2017 4:37am
Yes, of course. People can develop bonds with animals and become great friends with them, and it is always hard losing a friend, human or not. Allow yourself time to grieve, but know that they lived a good life and they are resting peacefully now.
June 12th, 2017 1:54pm
Pets are part of the family so it is normal to be upset over their death. It is the death of a beloved family member.
June 13th, 2017 11:32pm
Pets play a huge role in our lives, be it a dog, fish or parrot. They provide an open mind, untarnished by personal bias and third-party influences. Therefore they can be just as devastating to lose as any humanoid individual. Especially since you can never really say goodbye to your pet. Speaking from experience...
November 28th, 2017 9:30am
Yes, most definitely. Pets can hold a special place in our hearts and can be like family members to us. It is very much normal to be upset over a pet’s passing and I believe you can get through this
February 5th, 2018 11:27am
Yes it's very normal.A death of a loved one (even if he's/she's a pet) can cause a lot of grief.But you need to be strong and remember that this is just a bad phase and this will end really soon.Till then,take care of yourself!
February 27th, 2018 7:01am
Oh sweetheart, I’m sorry. The death of a pet can totally be an earth shattering experience. They give so much love and really become our best friends. They really become a part of the family. My family actually calls the dog (unfortunately named Hobo) mine and my sisters brother and it’s very much true! So yes, I feel like it is totally normal to be so upset after their passing. Try your best to remember the good memories you had with them and hold onto them tight. Also, if you need to there isn’t any shame in talking to a therapist or a counselor about it. You e lost a loved one and grief is grief, whether it be a human or a pet. Again, my heart breaks for you and I am so so so sorry.
March 26th, 2018 10:43am
yes it is totally normal! after all, we do take care of our pets and love them will all our heart. so it is totally fine for us to cry over their death
June 4th, 2018 11:58pm
Yes, it's very normal and understandable to be upset over the loss of a pet. What you are feeling is completely valid, it's ok to grieve over an animal companion.
August 28th, 2018 11:13pm
YES! The death of a pet, in my opinion, is a death of a family member. It's a very hard experience to go through. Pet owners develop deep bonds with their pets and the loss is great. Let your feelings and emotions flow. I don't think a pet will ever be replaced. I do think one can validate your feelings by finding the support of another who has dealt with the same situation and felt the feelings you're experiencing. Look to your friends who have lost pets for support and comfort. The community of people who support pets as part of the family is very compassionate and supportive.
January 27th, 2020 11:31pm
The loss of a dearly loved pet can be just as devastating as any other loss. People spend a lot of time & energy on their pets and form very close and comforting bonds. After a hard day it's still a friendly face to come home to, it's a creature that gives unconditional love. I have friends who have chosen to never have children and to them their dogs are the equivalent of kids. Everyone is different how they grieve the loss of a loved pet, take time to reflect on happy memories together and take time to look after you. You wont forget your furry friend, you wouldn't want to, but in time it will get easier x