Pets Crossing The Rainbow Bridge

rainbow bridge for pets, saying goodbye to pets

Animals are of another species than human beings but the companionship that is between an owner and a pet makes them family. Pets often are a person’s best friend. They go through life, the ups and the downs, together. The worst thing about pets is that they do not live as long as humans. As a cat or dog ages, the owner becomes aware that a decision may need to be made. A pet crossing the rainbow bridge can be a crushing loss. 

This blog discusses how to know when to let go of your pet, how to prepare to say goodbye, ways to memorialize your pet and the importance of waiting to get another pet. 

How to Know When to Let Go of Your Pet 

An animal’s quality of life is the best indicator on whether or not it is time to put them down. As a pet ages, problems may arise that make life very difficult. Older animals can develop GI issues, cancer, chronic diseases, severe arthritis and many other health conditions. Some of these are caused by genetics and others are symptoms of old age. 

Watch the pet in their daily life. Are they hurting or in chronic pain? Can they stand or walk anymore? Are they eating or able to go to the bathroom by themselves? Are they frequently vomiting, having diarrhea, severe weight loss or disinterest in everything? If the answer to one or multiple of these questions is yes, then speak to your vet about the overall health of your cat or dog. If there are no treatments to help your pet, then it may be time to say goodbye. 

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Preparing to Say Goodbye to Your Pet 

Veterinarians are the only ones authorized to euthanize animals. When the decision to put an animal down is made, the vet explains to the owners the procedure and sets up an appointment. The owner may feel anxiety, sadness and even anger. Even though it is ideal that a pet passes away on their own, euthanasia can be just as peaceful. This procedure can be done at the vet clinic or you can ask your vet if they offer an at-home euthanasia service. 

Once it has been determined where and when the procedure takes place, prepare to say goodbye. Spoil your pet in their last days by giving them their favorite food, taking them to their favorite places and spending a lot of time with them. Alert family and friends to give those who also care for your pet a chance to say their goodbyes. If children are in the household, then prepare them in advance. There are many kids’ books on the subject of a pet passing away that may be helpful.


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Ways to Memorialize Your Pet 

When a pet crosses the rainbow bridge a big empty hole can form in the heart, home and daily life of the owner. Pets are humans’ consistent companions and when they pass on it can be very painful. To help ease the grief there are few ways to memorialize a beloved pet. 

Memorial Service

There is no right or wrong way to do a memorial service for a pet. Decide on how it should be done based on the unique relationship you had with your pet and the personality of the pet. Go to a favorite adventure spot and scatter their ashes. Plant a tree in their memory at their favorite park or corner of the yard. Hold a candle-lighting ceremony or symbolic release with friends, family and community. Hold a small service at their gravesite in a pet cemetery. Build a memorial section in a garden or part of the yard with family and friends. With whichever option is chosen, share and remember the happy memories. 

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Memory Box 

Fill a box with all the memories of the pet with items like pictures, toys, tufts of fur, collar, name tag etc. Keep it in a visible area in the home. Everytime a cat or dog is missed, the owner can open the keepsake box and walk down memory lane. A memory box also makes sure these precious items are never lost or misplaced after the pet crosses the rainbow bridge. 

Customized Ink, Art and Jewelry 

The bond between an owner and their pet can be a very precious one. A person may want a way to carry their beloved furry friend with them at all times. Many jewelry shops online make personalized pieces for pet owners. The pet’s name, paw, face outline can all be worked into metal that is perfect for everyday wear. 

If tattoos are more appealing, many tattoo artists are skilled at creating unique and beautiful drawings. Talk to a local shop or browse on social media to see if anyone local specializes in pet memorial tattoos or has a preferred style. The tattoo can be small or a whole mural. 

Many artists online only do pet art. Send a favorite picture in and they create amazing and one of a kind art. Search online and social media to find an ideal artist’s style and enjoy a beautiful reminder of a beloved pet in your home. 

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Should You Get Another Pet Right Away? 

Losing a pet is difficult and the empty spot they leave in their owner’s life can be devastating. However, the answer to fill that void is not to rush out and purchase or adopt another pet. Spend time mourning the loss of your furry friend. If getting another pet is rushed, then there is a high chance of undeserved negative feelings being projected onto the new pet. Rule of thumb is to wait a couple of months until a person feels at peace with the passing of their cat or dog. When the heart is ready, the right pet comes into the owner’s life. 

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy 

Cats and dogs are not here for a long time but they make a great impact on their humans’ lives. Making the decision to have a pet cross the rainbow bridge is not easy, but it is the right decision. An animal’s quality of life needs to be considered instead of their owner’s feelings. Preparing for a lovely goodbye, finding ways to honor them and giving time to properly grieve are all part of the process of letting go and finding peace with their passing. 

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