Research Shows Loss of a Dog is Like Losing a Loved One

Saying goodbye to a loved one is one of the hardest things that humans will ever deal with in their lives. So, of course, when you lose one of us, your best furry friends, we know it can be pretty devastating. After all, losing us means losing your go-to for a source of unconditional love, a devoted companion, and a provider of security and comfort. Moreover, it’s not surprising that our deaths can be more painful than the loss of a friend or loved one. You know what I’m talking about. I mean, we are members of the family–beloved sisters or brothers, adopted siblings. Research has proven this.

Unfortunately, there are people out there that will never understand. “It was just a dog,” they will say. They expect you to just move on and go back to your everyday activities. Not so easy for those of you who’ve included us in those everyday activities, right? The incredible human-animal bond you have formed with us is often discounted. These people don’t realize we provide you with constant love and positive feedback. We adore you just for being “you.” How could you not be devastated when that is gone? For many people, we even give you a sense of purpose, a reason for being. When that suddenly vanishes, it is dramatically life-changing. There’s that overwhelming sense of emptiness that cuts a deep hole into your heart. I’m here to tell you to never feel ashamed for feeling that way. We love you that much, too.

I’m also here to tell you how you can commemorate our lives, even honor us after we’re gone, in positive ways.

  1. Celebrate Our Lives: Sit around with your family and loved ones and tell stories of the funny or cute things we’ve done. Pull out photos that bring back sweet memories. Tell others what we did to make you laugh. You’ll find those around you will laugh along with you, which certainly helps uplift your somber spirit.
  2. Cremation Urns: Have a keepsake commemorative urn made up for our ashes. Make it beautiful with our names engraved on it, and place it somewhere that you can always see it. It will constantly remind you of the love and devotion we exchanged.
  3. Plant A Tree in Our Honor: Many people think to give donations in their dog’s honor, but planting a tree in our honor is a beautiful way to let our legacy live on for years to come. Choose a pretty spot in your backyard and plant a young tree or sapling. As the years go by you’ll be able to watch that memorial tree grow big and strong.

Here are some touching photos that illustrate how we’ve been there for you during those times of loss and sadness.

“I don’t like being sad.”

sad dog



“I know you’re hurting, Mama. I am always here for you to lean on whenever you need me.”

old woman and dog



“I’m so glad I can be your bestest girlfriend, especially when you’re sad.”

woman nuzzle dog



“Aw, Missy, please don’t cry. Maybe my kisses will help.”

dog and girl rain cry umbrella



“I may be gone, but I’m always with you and watching over you. It’s just like that quote from ‘Ghost,’: The love inside, you take it with you.”

dog and photos