A study shows that losing a dog can be as difficult as losing a loved one

DOGS

Study Shows Losing A Dog Can Be As Difficult As Losing A Loved One Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that it becomes more than just a pet – it becomes a member of the family.

That’s why it’s so hard when a pet passes away. Whether the pet died suddenly or from disease, after a long life or too young, loss is painful and can be difficult to accept.

Some people will heartlessly tell you to «get over it» or that «it’s just a dog.» These people don’t understand what it means to lose a pet.

I am so much more than just an animal and getting over that is easier said than done. In fact, it may seem that there is nothing that can be said to lessen the grief a pet owner feels after a loss.

The grief we feel over the loss of a pet is supported by scientific research.

A study has shown that the grieving process a person goes through after the loss of a pet is very real.

In fact, it can be more difficult to get over the loss of a pet than it is of a human.

This may seem absurd to some, but it’s just one of the things the study found.

The thing is, we usually bond with our pets similar to how we bond with humans.

When we bond with animals or people, our brains release hormones and chemicals that make us feel connected and loved.

So when we spend a lot of our time delving into this bond, it is obvious that we feel a deep loss.

But why is it more difficult to overcome the death of a pet than that of a human being?

Because there is no «acceptable» way to mourn.

When we lose a human family member or loved one, there are many different resources to help us through the loss.

We are often surrounded by other people who have suffered the same loss and shared experience and their kind words can help ease the pain.

In addition to community, we also have options like counseling or therapy to help us get through the difficult time—and we aren’t criticized for the depth of our emotions.

We don’t have the same support when a pet dies. We are expected to simply move on with our lives. We often go right back to work and expect to have outings and events on the calendar in the days following the death. Canceling programs because your pet died a week ago? Many people think that’s a bad excuse.

Many of us have people in our lives who understand our grief after the loss of a pet, but may not realize how deeply it affects us.

And because we have limited resources when dealing with this type of loss, we end up trying to repress our emotions. We can never get over it or move forward in a healthy way. We just bury our feelings.

Psychologist Julie Axelrod says that in addition to losing a loved one, we also lose a source of comfort and unconditional love. It’s a huge thing.

Losing a pet also has a domino effect, as it brings about a change in your daily routine. It could be more upsetting than the loss of a human being in your life.

Many of us have to plan our day around our dogs, making sure they are let out, walked and fed. When they leave, the loss is evident.

We also struggle with the feeling that they are there even when they are not. Instinctively it seems to us that they are somewhere else in the house or garden.

Certain sounds make us think we hear the swish of their tail wagging or their toenails on the kitchen floor.

When we have to make the difficult decision to end a dog’s suffering, loss has an edge. It’s a human choice, but it doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier.

We may struggle with feeling that we could have done more or could have done differently for them.

If you have lost a pet, know that there is nothing wrong with your heartbreak. They were your family and it doesn’t matter how others think you must feel.

What you are going through is understandable. Even science agrees.

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