Most people who have pets know that they will eventually have to deal with a loss. This is an extremely sad time. After all, their animals become a part of the family, and once they’re gone, there’s a huge void.

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The family’s routines will change, and little things can trigger the sadness that may be extremely overwhelming. The family will no longer be greeted by a wagging tail or a soft purr when the return home at the end of each day.

Remember that there are stages of grief, and the impact of the loss might not happen right away. Many people start out in shock or denial, and they break down days or even weeks later. Be understanding when those times come.

When you know someone who has just lost a pet, offer your sympathy and support. Give him or her a call and listen. Share your own memories of the animal.

Sometimes people have a difficult time removing the pet’s bedding and food bowls. If you can handle doing it for them without falling apart, offer to help. Perhaps they want to do it but would appreciate your presence. Follow their lead and do what is needed.

For help writing a pet condolence note click here.

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