The Agony of Losing a Pet Is Worse Than People Know

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Losing a pet is so much more painful than most people realize. It can even end in “broken heart syndrome.” Here’s how.

The Agony of Losing a Pet Is Worse Than People Know

Do you have a pet you adore? I love seeing pictures and reading stories about the precious pets people have. If you haven’t read this story about a life-saving Pitbull, you have to! Such a sweetie.

The Agony of Losing a Pet

When a pet dies, the family who loved that fur baby is grief-stricken. Pets are family members. They are there when we wake up, and beside us when we go to sleep. They see us sick, happy, angry, sad, and they never pass judgment. Our pets see the truth of who we are and they love us in spite of ourselves.

Isn’t that what family is supposed to do? Be there in good and bad times, offering support and unconditional love? Some may say they don’t even get that kind of care from their human families.

That’s why Scientific American says we should take pet loss seriously.

The aching hearts of those who lose a pet are often lonely hearts. After her dog died, a woman suffered from a terrible condition called “broken heart syndrome.” SA explains, “It can happen when the response to grief is so severe the person exhibits symptoms that mimic a heart attack, including elevated hormone levels that can be 30 times greater than normal.”

Essentially, the author says when you’re in anguish after this kind of loss, you need to reach out and let people know how badly you’re hurting.

“We need to seek social support from people we know will understand and sympathize with our emotions and not judge us for them.”

I think as a society we can always do a better job of supporting each other.

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

You were used to morning purring to wake you up and now it’s quiet. You and your good boy always went for a walk before heading to bed. Now the leash hangs still.

When you open the front door, no one runs to you. At night all you can think about is how long it been since you slept in a bed without a four-legged friend taking up all the space.

That’s why the rest of us should show up, be loving, supportive and continue to be so for as long as it takes. There is no timeline on grief.

“It is time we gave grieving pet owners the recognition, support and consideration they need. Yes, it is up to us to identify and address our emotional wounds when our pet dies, but the more validation we receive from those around us, the quicker and the more complete our psychological recovery will be.” – Scientific American

If you’ve lost a pet, I want you to know how sorry I am you’re in pain. Tell us about them in the comments. What made you love them so? Did they have a favorite toy or a sweet way of showing you their love?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist to help you get through.

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236 comments on “The Agony of Losing a Pet Is Worse Than People Know”

  1. I lost my cat misskins on 25th September. She was 12. I watched her raise her babies and she watched me raise mine. I really was notnprepared for how much pain this has put me in. I’m broken. I haven’t had time to grieve, you can’t have time off work for the loss of a pet. The kids still need to go to school, the housework still needs doing. My best friends husband has terminal cancer so I feel bad being this upset when she us dealing with that. I don’t know what to do. I’m so hurt. I’ve always been level headed. Cope well under stress, just crack on. But this has really thrown me. I’m not okay.

  2. I lost my sweet Sully 4/5/21. The pain is deep and raw that it takes my breath away sometimes. I still cry most days. I do have some good days when I can talk about him without crying, but those are few and far between. It’s a hard thing for others to understand. I was very ill for a while and Sully was the only reason I got out of bed. He was a silly, loyal, loving, playful, snoring little guy that no other dog can replace. I don’t think I can ever get souther dog, some say that’s selfish. But I can’t go through losing one again. I’m still grieving so badly for Sully. I know grief has no time limit but my heart still feels broken. Time hasn’t healed me, it’s just made me adjust to a new normal without him.

  3. We just lost our Oakley on 10/21/2023 she was a Chihuahua mix my special things with her is when she wanted to sit close and cuddle, she would take her paw and tap me with it and do a whimper wine! When it was time to go out side she liked to play a game you have to catch me first! Oakley first started sleeping with my younger daughter then she gradually went to my older daughter and slept with her for the longest time. Then she ended up sleeping with my wife and I she love to sleep under the blankets too! She wouldn’t eat her food, unless it was heated up and she would eat with a spoon! But back to her passing we got Oakley when she was old enough to leave her mother but we didn’t know when it’s a time she had some health issues she started coughing so we took her to the vet did bloodwork x-rays and said they never seen lungs like hers, her lungs were really raspy we always knew one was time to go to the vet she would stop eating her food and get really raspy! The vet said that they didn’t know how long she would be around, but we had Oakley bro almost 3 years she would’ve been three in December gone too soon! Thank you for letting me share take care and god bless!

  4. Avatar photo
    Kimberly Williams

    I had to put my precious calico down on 7-14-2023. My life will never be the same without her. My soul is crushed, but I knew in my heart it was time to let her go to the rainbow bridge.

  5. I lost my Jasper several weeks ago and I’m still hurting, trying to put on a brave face. The house is so quiet, He loved me more than family

  6. I lost my furr baby, Juneau, the day before Valentine’s Day. My heart is just broken. She had been through everything with me. Including the loss of my husband. I still have two elderly dogs to go through this with. I have never been without a dog my whole life but I will now. I feel her loss everyday.

  7. I’ve lost many pets, some tolerated, others deeply loved. But each time one of them passes, a bit of me dies with them. I can’t have any more pets. There’s not enough of me left.

    1. I’m sorry for your loss. I know what you mean about losing a part of yourself. I can’t go through losing another one either.

  8. We lost Dylan our bichon frisé on 30th January 2023. He was 14 1/2. I have never felt more pain. We were on holiday in Spain with him when he got a bad tummy. After 3 days we took him to the vets who took some bloods and immediately sent him to hospital. He died 2 days later of kidney failure. The hospital phoned us after he had died so we never got the chance to say goodbye. That’s what hurts the most. I still keep wondering if he thought we had abandoned him because it feels like we did. We came home to all his things that were where we had left them. His baskets, toy box, water bowls etc. The house seems so quiet without him. He was my baby and I don’t think I will ever get over losing him. We have had other dogs in the past but he was so special