Coping With The Loss Of A Pet

Coping With The Loss Of A Pet Header

Coping With The Loss Of A Pet

If you’re reading this, you probably recently had to say goodbye to your beloved pet as they crossed the Rainbow Bridge and are wondering how to cope with the loss of a pet. Firstly, it’s okay to grieve. Secondly, no matter how long your pet was in your life they made a profound impact on you and it’s okay to take time to feel these emotions and make room for them. Your pet was not “just a cat” or “just a dog”. People have been telling those who have lost their pets this for centuries (Dewey 1890-1910). Your pet was a member of your family who was loved very much. You still remember the day you brought your beloved pet home and as the years passed the bond you two shared grew. This pain of losing your companion can be overwhelming but remember, it’s going to be okay and you should never feel guilty or ashamed for what you are feeling after the loss of a pet.

Grieving the Loss of a Pet

Grief is different for everyone. For some it may only take a few days, for others – years. You may go through all or some of the stages of grief during this time in any order:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

It’s important while you’re experiencing grief to reach out to others. You are not alone in your grieving. Talk to trusted friend or family member, a professionally-trained therapist, or reach out to one of the numerous pet loss hotlines around the country.

Here are some more ways to help you through the grief:

  • Donate to an animal related charity or to the shelter you adopted them from in memorial of your pet.
  • Write down your emotions.
  • Purchase a pet memorial – Etsy has many creative artists who can memorialize your pet.
  • Stay connected with friends, you don’t have to be alone with your emotions during this if you don’t want to be.
  • Take care of yourself. Do something that makes you feel good even if you don’t think it will help.
  • Sticking to your daily habits – making sure to shower, put away dishes, and doing laundry are some things that come to mind.

Coping with the loss of a pet is a personal process and figuring out what helps you through your grief is important. Everybody is different. If you are feeling that this is too much to bare, please remember there are always people here to talk at 1-800-273-8255.

Children Grieving the Loss of a Pet

The loss of a pet may be the first time your child has first experienced death and can be a traumatic experience. This time is when you can teach your child about grief and emotional pain and how to work through it. How you handle this process will determine how the child views the experience and how they’ll understand coping with the loss of a pet in the future. Honesty is the best policy, even when talking to children, as later in life they may feel betrayed or hurt when they understand that Fluffy didn’t go to a farm. Of course the age of your child will depend on what language you use when talking to them but making clear statements and answering questions honestly is a step in the right direction towards healing.

Here are some other steps you can take to help a child cope with the loss of a pet:

  • Allow your child to express their grief and let them see your grief.
  • Reassure them that it’s not their fault.
  • Allow your child to participate. This could involve having them help you pick out a memorial or them picking out their own. It could also be helping them to put the name plate on your pets urn if you opted for cremation and if your urn has a removable name plate.
  • Don’t be quick to rush out and get a new pet. Ask your child before getting a new pet if they feel ready.

Getting a New Pet

Only you know when it’s time to start considering adopting a new pet. Some people find the emptiness of the house to be too much and adopt a new pet soon. Others take months or years to open their homes to a new pet. There is no right time frame to do this. If other members of your household are grieving the loss of a pet, consult with them before adopting a new pet. If you’re unsure if you’re ready to adopt a new pet but want an animals companionship, consider volunteering at an animal rescue or shelter. This can help you understand your emotions and grief better and if you’re ready to adopt a new pet.


Coping with the loss of a pet is deeply personal and there is no right or wrong way to approach it. Children may have difficulty understanding what has happened but being honest with them can help them through their grief. Only you know when your heart is ready to welcome a new pet into your home, don’t rush it. Below I have included some poems I have found in my travels around the internet that have provided me comfort during the passing of my pets. I hope that you may find even an ounce of comfort within them as well:

Eyes Bright, Claws Sharp

ᛖᛁᛖᛋ ᛒᚱᛁᚷᚻᛏ,

ᚳᛚᚪᚹᛋ ᛋᚻᚪᚱᛈ,

ᛏᚪᛁᛚ ᚻᛖᛚᛞ ᚻᛁᚷᚻ.

ᚷᚩ ᚳᛖᛖᚾᛚᛁ ᛁᚾᛏᚩ ᚦᛖ ᛘᛁᛋᛏ, ᚩᛚᛞ ᚹᚪᚱᚱᛡᚱ.

ᚠᚪᛚᚻᚪᛚᛚᚪ ᚹᚪᛁᛏᛋ ᚠᚩᚱ ᛁᚩᚢ.

Eyes bright,

claws sharp,

tail held high.

Go keenly into the mist, old warrior.

Valhalla waits for you

Source: u/freeced

The Rainbow Bridge Poem

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.

Source: Unknown

Homemade Valentine’s Day Cat Treats

Is your cat that lucky Valentine this year?  After all they are our special friends and constant companions. So celebrate the day with these delicious Valentine’s day cat treats!  And show your precious little fur baby some extra love.

Baked Tuna Valentine’s Day Cat Treats 


These treats add a little oomph to plain canned tuna.


  • Canned tuna
  • Cat friendly garnish (like catnip or wheat grass)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place parchment paper on a baking sheet
  2. Mix one can of tuna and one tablespoon of garnish in a medium bowl
  3. Use a teaspoon to scoop the tuna mix onto the baking sheet
  4. Form tuna mix piles into a heart shape on the baking sheet
  5. Bake these treats for about 5 minutes or until they are warm

Feed this Valentine’s day cat treat in moderation, too many treats can give your cat a stomach ache.

Spinach and Chicken Valentine’s Day Cat Treats

Many cats crave some roughage (like spinach) in their diets, it’s the reason many cats try to eat house plants. These treats are a great way to add some variety to your cat’s diet, all in the form of a tasty treat.


  • 1/2 pound of steamed boneless, skinless chicken thigh
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of quick cooking oats
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and place parchment paper on a baking sheet
  2. Place the cooled chicken, spinach, oats and egg into a food processor or blender and blend until the mixture is smooth with some chunks
  3. Pour the chicken mixture into a bowl and add the flour, mixing with your hands
  4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut with a small heart cookie cutter OR make thumbnail sized balls and flatten them
  5. Place the shaped dough on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick can be cleanly removed

Be sure to completely cook the chicken before adding it to the treat mixture. Feed these treats in moderation and break larger treats into cat sized pieces .

Cooked Salmon 

Cooked salmon is great as a special Valentine’s day cat treat. Many cats love this tasty fish. Be sure to cook all salmon thoroughly (by steaming or grilling) to make it safe for your cat. For this special treat, dice a small amount of cooked salmon and feed it to your kitty in a dish.


Valentine’s day can be filled with dangerous food for your cat. However, these Valentine’s day cat treats are sure to safely woo that special feline in your life.

Dog Treats for Valentine’s Day



When we think of Valentine’s day, we think of a day of love that is filled with chocolate and flowers. And there is no reason not to include your canine companion with these dog treats for Valentine’s Day. After all, they have a piece of your heart too.

Remember to always keep your dogs away from candy, but making them there own special dog-friendly treats is a great way to include them.  Check out these easy to make recipes for your dog this year!


Heart Shapped Pup-cakes


  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (xylitol free)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots or chopped broccoli
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • Cream cheese as frosting
  • Strawberry (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit  and grease your cupcake pan with butter or vegetable oil
  2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl
  3. Add the oil, peanut butter, and honey to the flour mixture
  4. Add the buttermilk in a small amount at a time and mix
  5. Add in the carrots or broccoli
  6. Place the mixture into the cupcake pan and bake until a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the cupcake
  7. Let the cupcakes cool for 20 minutes and remove them from the pan
  8. After the cupcakes are cooled mix up your frosting

For frosting:

  1. Apply softened cream cheese to ice the cupcake
  2. Optional: cut up strawberries and mix them into the cream cheese
  3. Spread the strawberry cream cheese on the cupcakes

No- Bake Peanut Butter Balls


  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (make sure there are no dog toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (dog safe)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats


  1. Mix the yogurt and peanut butter to make a paste
  2. Add oats 1/4 a cup at a time and fully mix all the oats with the wet ingredients
  3. Scoop out tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and roll it into balls
  4. Place the balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cool in the fridge for one hour

These treats can be stored for 7-9 days if kept in the refrigerator.

It’s true that many Valentine’s Day presents are chocolaty hazards to your dog. But, these delicious homemade treats are the perfect way to share the sweetness with your dog.




7 Valentine’s Day Gifts for Mom from the Family Pet


Valentine’s day is right around the corner and now is the perfect time to lavish gifts on your loved ones.  And who best to spoil than the one person who is often the glue that holds every  day together, Mom, of course!  Here are some cute ideas for your family pet to give to Mom that are sure to make her smile.


1. Animal Lover Paw Print Hoodie

Mom will love cozying up on a chilly day with this adorable animal lover hoodie!


2. The Classic Lock Matching Pet Charm

This precious token of love is perfect for a pet mom and her fur baby.  The charm is great on a leash or collar and then get a matching one for Mom to wear as jewelry,  hang on a tote or key chain.

Image from


3. Texts from The Dog Calendar

Make mom laugh each day will this adorable calendar with jokes from a witty tech savvy pup!

Image from Amazon


4. Custom Pet Portrait

Having your pet immortalized in a painting is sure to warm any pet lovers heart.

Image from Amazon

5. Sterling Silver Heart and Paw Ring

What better way to show appreciation on Valentine’s Day than by giving the gal you love a nice ring?

Image from Amazon

6. Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoe (And Other Heartwarming Letters from Doggie)

Hilarious and heartwarming letters from the dog will definitely make mom smile time and time again.


Image from Amazon


7. Dog Mom Mug

Who doesn’t love a good mug from a loved one? This cute Dog Mom mug is a great reminder of how special pet Mom’s are.

Image from Amazon


All of these are sure to make the “Mom” in your life smile.  Even if you’ve already got your gift ready, why not include one for the family pet?  They surely appreciate all that Mom does just as much as you do.  Plus it’s sure to make Mom feel extra special!


No Bake Snowball Treats for Your Dog


Making treats on a snowy afternoon is always a great way to spend the day at home.  And you know your dog always wants to be included when treats are involved. What’s better is when you can make treats and you don’t even have to bake them!  That’s why these easy do-it-yourself snowball dog cookies are perfect for a snow day.  Your dog will be so happy to have their own little morsels to snack on while the snow falls.

Snowball Treat Needs:

  • 2 1/2 Cups of Rolled Oats
  • 3 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil 
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Shredded Coconut Flakes
  • A food processor


How to Do it:

Mix the coconut oil, peanut butter, and rolled oats together in a food processor. The dough should be slightly sticky, but not too wet.  If the dough seems like it is too wet then add a few extra oats.  If it seems a little too dry, you can add a bit more coconut oil to moisten it up. Once the consistency seems right, use a tablespoon to dip out the dough and roll it in your palms to form a ball.

After you have the balls made, roll them in the coconut flakes.  The flakes should be pretty fine so that it looks more like a real so ball.  If your flakes are on the chunky side, you can put them in the food processor and chop them up a bit to make them smaller.  

Set the covered snowballs onto a baking sheet or a large plate.  Then put the balls into the fridge to set.  After about 30 minutes your dog will be doing the happy dance while enjoying these delicious little snowball treats!  

You can store the cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, that is if they last that long!

Tips To Get Your Dog To Go Outside in the Cold_Header

Tips to Get Your Dog to Go Outside in the Cold

Tips To Get Your Dog To Go Outside in the Cold_Header


We all know it’s not very pleasant to use a cold bathroom in the middle of winter.  So, it’s no surprise to know that our dogs feel the same discomfort when it’s cold outside.  Often dogs refuse to go potty outside in the cold or rain. This causes them to hold it all day and have accidents in the house.  This is harmful to your pet and not to mention bad for your rugs, that’s why we have a few tricks to get you through!
Want to watch this blog instead of read? Check out our video below.

Top 3 Tips to Get Your Dog to Go Outside in the Cold

Shovel a Spot

Uncover a small grassy area for them to use, it should be big enough for them to turn around a few times and sniff the area.  It’s best to do this in an area that they have used before. They will get the “green light” to go if they can pick up the scent of past potties. Also, make sure to bundle them up in jackets and sweaters that fit snug to avoid accidents.  You may want to invest in little booties for them as well for days where the ground is frozen.

Is your dog already a pro at going outside in the cold? Need an extra hand during those mid-day potty breaks? We have recommended schedules for dogs.


Give Out Treats

You can help train your dog to go on command by using cue words such as “Go Potty or Time to Go”. Cue words help them know when it’s time to potty.  In my house, we say, “Let’s go do a good boy” to let our dog Rigsby know when it’s time head out for a bathroom break.   Once you use the verbal cues, make sure to dole out treats. It may be cold for you outside as well but stand right next to them to hand them out as soon as they go.  Don’t until they return to the doorway. They may think they treat is because they are coming to you and not because of the potty break.  

brown and black long coated small dog

c: tamasp

Make an Indoor Potty Place

What if the weather is terrible outside for weeks and your dog refuses to use potty outside? You can make an indoor bathroom for your dog. Be aware that if you do this, it can be very hard for them to be house trained to use the bathroom outside again.
It does, make sense for some families to set up an exercise pen or baby gate in the garage/laundry room. This makes a special area for them use. Put real grass bathroom patches or a pee pad in the area. Your dog will know that they have a safe space to use in the home and leave your carpets safe from accidents.
It can be hard on pets and pet parents in the winter months. Following these tips will help you get through until spring. Don’t forget to let us know any tips that work for you in the comments!

How do I Know if my Pet is Overheating?


As we prepare for the start of school it easy to think that summer is almost, but the hot weather still pounds down and the heatstroke is still very real.

So, how do you know if your pet is overheating? And even more importantly what do you do if it’s happening to your pet.

How do I spot overheating in my pet? 

  • Constant panting
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty walking, weakness or wobbliness
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Collapse
  • Bright red, grey, bluish or purple gums
  • Seizures


What do I do if I realize that my pet is suffering from heatstroke?

  • Remove them from heat immediately, but be careful not to over cool your dog too quickly.  
  • Lay them on a cool surface, like a tile floor in an air conditioned room.
  • Use cold compresses on their neck, armpits, and groin areas.
  • Gently wet their paws and ears with a sponge or washcloth
  • Take their rectal temperature to give to the vet
  • Get your pet to ANY vet ASAP. Call your vet on the way, but at this moment the closest vet is the best vet.
  • If you are not at home alone, have one person find the closest vet near by while you do the above subtle cooling techniques.
  • Call your vet and let them know of the situation in case you need a follow up appointment.

Things you want to make sure NOT to do:

Do not use cold water or ice, over cooling can cause blood vessels to constrict which traps the excess heat in the body’s core and can end up doing more harm than good.

Do not force your dog to drink, give them a fresh bowl of water, but do not force it if they are not interested.

Do not leave them unattended or let them “sleep it off.” Similar to any other trauma, letting them sleep it off or giving the time to relax alone can be detrimental. They can easily end up worse off in this situation.


The dog days of summer may be upon on us, but it doesn’t mean that we have to suffer with over heating. Check back next week to find out how to keep your Fort Collins pet safe in the sun!

How Do I Prepare my House for a Pet Sitter


It’s mid summer and if you haven’t gone on vacation, chances are you are going on one soon. There is no doubt in the fun of getting out of town with our loved ones, but we can always take our four-legged family members with us. That is when we hire pet sitters to look after them while we are at home. This way you can go on your vacation with peace of mind that they are being taken of while still enjoy the comfort of being in their own home.

So, the vacation is planned, the hotel booked, and lists are being made, but now you may be left thinking, “well, should I and how do I prepare my house for a pet sitter?” Firstly, yes there are a few things you should do to prepare for a pet sitter and here is what you need to know:

Gather all of your pet’s care items as well as emergency contact information  in one easy to find location. Clear out a drawer or cabinet, or simple put everything in a tupperware and leave it on the table.  

Things to include:

  • List of emergency numbers and hotel/flight information – Don’t forget to include numbers of neighbors or family nearby and your vet  in case you are unreachable.
  • Explanation of daily routine/areas where they are or are not allowed. Include their general likes and dislikes, as well as sneaky habits if they have any.
  • Food & Treats including can opener and plastic bowls if needed. Throw in an extra bag of food just in case. Some dogs tend to eat more out of boredom when their owner is 
  • Harness, leashes and an extra set of tags (just in case).
  • Flashlight and batteries because with summer comes unexpected storms and sometimes power outages.
  • Medicine if they need it and detailed instructions plus veterinarian contact information. 
  • Paper towels and cleaning supplies
  • Plastic grocery bags

Once you have your drawer or box of supplies ready, it’s time to do a little extra dog proofing. Mundane items of the home may suddenly seems like something fun, including blinds, cords, books, videos, etc. Also, make sure to put away any toxic cleaners or plants while you’re away.

Just will help you prepare your house for your pet sitter and have a great vacation at the same time.


Why Does My Dog Weave Back and Forth When I Walk?

It’s a beautiful day as you head out for an afternoon walk with your happy and eager pup…you take a second to look up at the fluffy clouds, then all of a sudden they blind side you as they weave from one side to the other and you almost trip right over them. It really does make you wonder, why do they do that anyway?

The Zigzag

Mostly they weave back and forth because they are super excited to be on a walk, which is usually the highlight of their day.  There are so many sights, sounds and most importantly, smells!  Dogs have a sense of smell that can is 1,000-10,000 times stronger than ours.  This can have them zigging and zagging all over the place as they track the scents that tells them what has been going on in the neighborhood.  If your dog has herding blood then it could also be a little of instinct of trying to get you to walk where he wants to you go, especially if they bark or nip while doing it. Lastly, it could be just a small bit of anxiety or even a little sensory overload from being outside with all the exciting stimuli.

How to Counteract

Even though you may be fine with the bob and weave, it can be a safety hazard.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 88 percent of fall-related injuries were due to dogs and cats.  Not only can it hurt you, but you could easily break their legs or ribs if you fall on them.  That’s why it best to teach your dog how to walk properly.

  1. Pick a side and practice walking on a loose, but short leash in a distraction free area.
  2. If he begins to cross in front of you stop and use hand or verbal ques to get him back to the proper side. You can use a treat at first if he has a hard time picking up on these ques.
  3. As soon as he gets back on the original side as directed, begin to walk forward again.
  4. Don’t give up!  As with most training, it takes repetition and time.
  5. Lengthen the leash as they get better with the commands and staying on one side.
  6. Hire a dog walker to help burn off some extra energy and reinforce training techniques!

Walking should a fun way to spend the afternoon outside, not in the emergency room.  Helping your dog walk properly will ensure the safety of you both.


3 Reasons to Keep Your Dog on a Leash


While letting your dog off their leash can make walks more fun and relaxing for both of you, it comes with many risks. Even the most well trained dog can be injured or spooked while off leash. Here are three of the big reasons you should keep your dog on-leash.

1. Other Dogs

Your dog may be the friendliest, most social and well behaved dog, but that does not mean every dog you encounter will be. Many dogs (and owners) are not comfortable with a dog coming up to them without their permission. If your off-leash dog goes up to an unfriendly dog, he may get bitten or hurt.Keeping your dog on-leash will avoid this problem.You should never assume another dog is friendly or wants to be greeted until you get permission from the owner.

2. Wildlife

One of the big tips for keeping your dog safe from wildlife is keeping your dog on-leash. This is because when your dog goes to explore, he may scare a wild animal and get harmed by this animal. Generally people are much louder, so the wildlife can avoid you and your dog.Do not underestimate your dog’s curiosity and prey drive, many dogs will chase wildlife if they can. Your dog could get hurt or lost during the chase.

3. Other people 

Not everyone likes dogs. An unleashed dog walking towards someone afraid of dogs can be very scary.An unleashed dog walking towards someone who likes dogs can be just as bad. I have been around dogs my entire life and am dog lover, but if an unleashed dog approaches me on a trail I am not ok with it. I have no way to know if this dog is friendly or aggressive, and I would rather not find out with a bite. This can particularly be an issue if your dog wants to greet and be best friends with everyone he meets.Most people who do not like dogs, really do not like dogs coming up them to say hello.  In a public place(like a trail or neighborhood sidewalk) keeping your dog on-leash is the respectful thing to do.

Off leash training can be a very useful tool in your dog’s training, but it is not a good skill to use in public places.In addition to these three reasons, most cities have leash laws which can be enforced with a citation, so you should think twice before letting your dog off leash.