How Pets Help in the Grieving Process
We’ve seen this play out time and time again: After losing a loved one, a pet can provide support when you need it most. They’re naturally tuned in to human emotions and pick up on our feelings without us even noticing. This is why our staff at Moloney Family Funeral Homes is a strong advocate for trained grief therapy dogs who provide support during the grieving process.
They encourage exercise
It’s simple to get in a rut of isolation or avoiding the outdoors when we’re grieving. With some pets, walks are a requirement (and perhaps the best part of their day). Establishing an exercise routine will help you and your furry companion stay on track, and it will improve your long-term physical health.
Getting out of the house and exercising also presents opportunities to socialize, which can bring new perspective to life while helping with the healing process.
They give us something to take care of
For many people, having a sense of responsibility and being needed is a reason to get out of bed in the morning. When a pet is depending on you to be fed, walked, played with, and loved, a renewed sense of purpose and enjoyment enters in.
They improve our mood
Think about the last time you were affectionate with an animal. It probably made you feel happy, loved, and lighthearted. Petting or even making eye contact with a dog increases the dopamine levels in our brains which brings about positive feelings. Therapy dogs also lower stress and anxiety for people that are grieving.
They know when we’re sad
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about animals is that they’re able to sense when someone isn’t happy. You may notice their ears lower, or they stare at you with those “puppy dog eyes.” They’ll notice you’re upset, so they lie next to you for comfort. And often, they won’t leave your side until they sense a difference in your mood.
Because we feel so strongly about the healing power of pets, we have our own grief therapy dog, Kota. Studies have shown over and over that dogs have a positive impact on our minds, emotions, and even our physical health. Kota never falls short of this, and he always knows when someone needs his comforting care.
If you need guidance on grief, you can explore our aftercare sources on our website. To all of our neighbors in Lake Ronkonkoma, Holbrook, Central Islip, Port Jefferson Station, and Bohemia – we’re here for you no matter when you need us.