Dealing with the loss of a pet is one of the hardest experiences to go through short of losing a family member or loved one, and sometimes the pet can actually feel like a family member. Regardless of how close one is to one's pet, or how much time one spends with it, it is never a pleasant experience, and there is only so much one can do to console oneself. In this article, we'll go over some of the things you can do to take the edge off, as well as some of the things you shouldn't do.

If you have recently suffered through the loss of a pet, you are likely looking for something you can do to ease the pain. Depending on how recently the pet's life ended, here are some things that have helped pet owners who've experienced the same thing. If the death was recent, performing some small service or burial will likely be a huge act of catharsis. If you can afford it, arrangements can be made for embalming, cremation, or other special burial services for pets. Regardless, laying a pet to rest will reinforce your connection with it, even after it's gone, and make it a permanent part of your life.

You can also try keeping memories of your pet around as tokens, but try to keep it realistic. It might seem like you want that half-chewed pig ear sitting on your mantle after the loss of a pet, but things like leashes, collars, or even stuffed animals that weren't torn to shreds are nice memories to have. If you still have your pet's tags, you might consider hanging them somewhere, or even making them into a bracelet of some kind. Anything you can do that will help you feel closer to your pet will help take some of the edge off until you're ready to let go.

The one thing you must never do after the loss of a pet is try and replace it, or at least not immediately. No matter how much that puppy looks like your old dog did, it is not the same dog and you will only be disappointed when it does not act the same way. You absolutely must wait to get any more pets until you have fully recovered from your loss and are ready to take on the responsibility of a new pet, with no expectations.