People react in many different ways when they have lost their pet, you may even experience additional reactions not listed below. Some people also experience grief even before their pet had passed away because they anticipate what will happen, all of which is perfectly natural.
There are sometimes strong deep feelings that we experience such as numbness – we feel disbelief and are unable to comprehend what we are experiencing. We may yearn for our pet resulting in what we perceive to be a physical pain inside us. Some people experience denial and anger and perhaps a difficulty to accept what is happening, as well as strong feelings of guilt. People may feel guilty for having to make the decision to put their pet to sleep even if the reason was to prevent suffering and was the kindest gesture they could make for their pet.
Emotional reactions such as sadness, shock, and depression are all very common. Sometimes we start to think very deeply and perhaps become introverted, feeling less sociable than we would usually. We may seek information about the illness/injury from which our pet suffered to reassure ourselves that we did the right thing, we may repeat or go over things in our minds that we or the vet or other people said in relation to our pet, we may even re-run the events of that particular day over in our minds too. Some people may turn to or even away from religion.
Physical reactions we may experience are crying, insomnia – being unable to sleep, tiredness/lethargy, agitation or an inability to sit still. Illness such as vomiting and/or diarrhoea or becoming susceptible to colds are common, we may even find ourselves searching for our pets in and around our home.