It’s never pretty, but the loss of a pet is something every pet owner will inevitably face. While the thought is macabre, it’s important to consider what to do as your pet’s end draws near. In this article we will go over what to do preceding and up to your pet’s passing.
If your pet is old and they start to noticeably slow down, odds are their time is near. I went through this with my pet hedgehog Rodger last month. I saw him start to slow down and become sluggish, he was eating less, and I knew his time was approaching. The best thing you can do in this situation is make your pet comfortable. Keep their cage clean, make sure they have easy access to food and water, and shower them with love. Check up on them frequently to monitor their condition. After about a week of decline, Rodger passed Saturday early in the morning.
Since his death was approaching, I had time to mentally prepare. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same luxury. Sometimes our pets are ripped from us due to accidents or disease. It’s important to take the time to mourn our pets. In my case, I was able to bury Rodger in my parent’s backyard and light a candle for him. If burying is not an option, you may consider cremation instead. If neither of these solutions works for you, contact your local vet. They’re a trained professional and will properly dispose of the body for you. Grieving will take shape in different ways depending on the person. However, it is important to address these feelings rather than push them aside.
After you lose your pet, it’s a good idea to put away their things. Don’t just throw them out, you may need them again one day. Put their cage in the attic or garage, keeping them out in the open will just serve as a constant reminder of your lost loved one. You may want to rush out and get another pet, however I’d advise against that. You don’t want your new pet to serve as a replacement for the old one. Once you have finished processing the loss of your old pet, then consider getting a new one. I went through something similar with my first hamster, Mooksie.
I got Mooksie the summer after my freshman year of college and he was my first pet. We were inseparable. He was an amazing hamster, and we were very close. After two great years together, I had to say goodbye. I bought a little hamster tombstone and buried him in a little carboard box (Right next to where Rodger is now). My friends came over and we sang amazing grace, it was very sweet. After Mooksie I waited a few months before I got Rodger. And now, I’m waiting a few months before my next pet. I’m considering a fancy rat, guinea pig, or rabbit. But whatever my future pet may be, they will never replace Mooksie or Rodger.