We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

 

For dog lovers, there is nothing more special and pure as having a deep bond with these furry animals. No one and nothing can match a dog’s loyalty and the kind of comfort they bring to our lives.

And it is one of life’s most excruciating experiences when we lose them.

To those who haven’t had dogs, it can be difficult to understand the depth of this loss. In fact, many of them will tell you that “it’s just a dog, anyway.”

However, research now proves that for most people, the pain of losing a dog is comparable to losing a human loved one. That the grief we experience is similar in almost every way. That for some, the pain could even be much worse.

And the sad thing is, society’s response to pet loss is… lackluster.

There is almost nothing in our culture that helps us properly grieve the loss or our furry loved ones. And when people are denied sufficient support after the death of a pet, it can cause them even more additional pain and feelings of shame.

So what is it exactly about this bond between humans and dogs that makes it so hard for people to grieve?

5 Reasons why losing a dog can be as painful as losing a loved one

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one is a life diminished.”

– Dean Koont

1. A Powerful Bond

Our brains don’t see a difference when we bond with people and when we do with dogs. The Official Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Study found that our brains produce the same kind of hormones when we bond with dogs the same way we connect with humans.

The same chemical process takes place, which is why our dogs start feeling like family to us. And it feels exactly the same way when we lose them as if we have lost a family member, too.

2. The grieving process is different.

When we lose a loved one, we have readily available avenues of dealing with it. We have therapies, counseling, support from family and friends, and even funerals. But when we lose a dog, the mourning process is different.

We’re told to move on as quickly as possible. We’re even told that grieving too much is just ridiculous. Your work performance can’t suffer just because your dog died. You’ll get scoffed at if you make an excuse not to attend social gatherings.

You’re simply not allowed the same level of graciousness. This is exactly why it could be even more difficult to move on.

3. You’ve lost someone who loved you unconditionally.

You don’t just lose a dog. It’s so much more than that. You lost the feeling you have when they are around.

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading the article ⌄

 

Confused About What to Do Next?

No matter what challenges you face in love, a gifted advisor can give you the answers you need.

Click here to get a personalized love reading

 

⌄ Scroll down to continue reading the article ⌄

Never again will you feel their comforting presence or how they made you feel less alone. And you are losing their unconditional love, too.

The loss of a dog leaves such a huge empty space where they used to be. It can be hard to take in when you lose that much.

4. Your daily life changes drastically.

Our dogs are a big part of our daily routine. And we feel this change perhaps even more profoundly as if we’ve lost a friend or a relative.

Why?

Because our daily schedules and even our travel or social plans depend on the needs of our pups. They’re there when we leave for work and they’re there when we come home.

We are so used to thinking of them, making plans, and having them around, that when they are gone, we are faced with drastic change.  And this sudden change in lifestyle can cause us stress.

5. We feel a lot of guilt.

Depending on the circumstances of our dog’s death, we feel varying depths of guilt.

Primarily, it is because we are our dogs’ masters. Their health and safety were put in our hands. And when something happens to them, we immediately take responsibility.

It is especially difficult when you have to make the conscious decision to put your dog to sleep. You know you’ve made the logical choice, especially for the well-being of your dog. However, no matter how much you reason, you will still feel like you should have done more.

Closing thoughts

The loss of a dog is truly heartbreaking. And there is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to grieve, no matter how long it takes.

Your feelings are valid. And if you find yourself going through the five stages of grief, know that it’s normal. In fact, it’s a healthy way to deal with loss.

And lastly, don’t close yourself off to another furry friend sometime in the future. Dogs enrich our lives in beautiful ways.

Keep the memories of your beloved companion alive by remembering them with joy in your heart.

Can a gifted advisor help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to someone with special intuition.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Psychic Source when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into what my future holds, and the confidence to make the right decisions when it comes to love.

If you haven’t heard of Psychic Source before, it’s a site where gifted advisors help people through complicated and difficult life situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a highly intuitive psychic and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my psychic was.

Click here to get started.

Scroll to Top