Grieving the death of a pet can be as painful as mourning the death of a family member or a friend. Unfortunately, grieving the loss of pets is not widely recognized in most cultures.
If you lose a loved family member, you will be given time off work to recover. After the loss of a pet, however, you might receive a few consoling words from friends, but you’re quickly expected to resume life as usual.
Grieving the loss of a pet is a highly personalized experience that might evoke a lot of emotions. As a vet, to help your customers grieve, you can play a role in some ways:
1. Give them cards and gifts.
To show the pet owners that you care, customize a veterinary sympathy card and send it to them. It pays off to keep pictures of all the pets that visit your clinic.
In the sympathy card, you can include pictures of the pet taken during their visits to your veterinary clinics. Pet owners are often surprised and touched when they receive personalized sympathy cards.
2. Offer consolation.
As a vet, your reaction should be heartfelt and personal. Grieving pet owners might feel angry that life on the outside hasn’t slowed down to match their grief. Encouraging the pet owner release emotions will help them avoid keeping their emotions to themselves, which could cause emotional harm.
3. Facilitate the funeral.
Many pet owners find pet burials as befitting acts of farewell to their pets. For most, providing a dignified burial is the last act of love they can give their pet and quite often, pet burials are important acts of closure.
Some pet owners need this last moment to view the remains of their pet and know that their pet’s suffering is over.
Being an animal lover yourself, you will know how painful it can be to lose a pet. Showing that you care even about the death of your clients’ pets is one of the noblest things you can do as a vet.