As pet owners we do our best to provide an enjoyable life for our furry friends. Unfortunately the circle of life continues on and there comes a time when our pets pass.
Lately a lot of our customers and fans have been grieving the loss of their pet rabbits. It seems as if daily we’ve been seeing posts of rabbit owners on Twitter and Facebook whose rabbit/rabbits have died. This blog post goes out to you and to all of the other rabbit owners who will unfortunately have to deal with this at some time or another.
They become a member of the family
All loving, responsible pet owners can agree that a pet no matter what it is becomes a part of the family. This is especially true with rabbits. Rabbits become a big part of the family even though they are such little creatures. Most rabbits live well over 10 years, which leads to a lot of time to become attached.
Coping with the grief
If you are grieving, this is OK. This is completely normal. Acknowledge the fact that you provided them a good life and the best care possible.
Here are some tips from The Humane Society on how to cope with your grief after your pet passes:
- Acknowledge your grief and allow yourself to express it.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to others to talk about it/listen to you. Pet Partners provides a list of pet-loss hotlines for those who are grieving over the loss of a pet.
- Jot your feelings down on a piece of paper, in a journal or in a blog.
- Have a memorial/funeral for your pet as closure.
Caring for other pets
When a pet dies, you as the owner are not the only one who suffers and grieves. Other animals also go through grief processes when their furry friend has now disappeared and left them. When a pet leaves other pets may go into distress, even if they weren’t the best of friends or didn’t get along before. The loss of a pet may cause your existing pet to not eat, act different, go into hiding or act distressed.
You as a pet owner can help by showing extra love, providing the best rabbit care possible and keeping your eye on them to make sure they cope with the process in a healthy way.
If the problems persist for awhile, it’s best to take them in for a visit to the veterinarian just to be safe.
Getting another pet
Give yourself some time before you get a new pet. Don’t rush into the decision. Give yourself and your other pets time to grieve the situation and move on. You will come to a point where you know you are ready and can make a healthy decision for everyone involved. Be mindful in your decision and make sure to consider how your current pets (if you have others) will react to their new friend.
As pet owners and especially as rabbit owners we always wish that our furry friends could be with us forever. But, the grim reality is that their time does come to an end at some point and it’s best to be prepared for it. Our thoughts go out to all of our rabbit owner friends who have recently lost their pets and to any of those who have ever experienced a loss.