Many on our dedicated team at Krause Funeral Home are proud pet owners and understand how much joy and comfort pets can bring during life’s many ups and downs. Because animals are incredibly empathic, they can be a great gift for those who are grieving. Here are five ways our neighbors across Milwaukee County have found solace in spending time with pets after losing a loved one.
- Pets help you get outside.
Though grief and depression are distinct experiences, they often go hand-in-hand. The sorrow you feel after losing a loved one can really weigh you down. If you find yourself heavy with grief, taking a quick walk outside might increase your energy levels. Having a pet can motivate you to get outdoors and move your body, as a dog needs to be let outside multiple times a day. This gives you a chance to get out of the house and breathe in some fresh air.
- Pets help you connect with other people.
Oftentimes, having a pet can be a connecting point between you and others. While you’re out walking your dog or sitting at the vet’s office waiting to get your cat a checkup, it’s easy to engage in light conversation with a stranger or acquaintance. Even the briefest interaction may help you feel less isolated in your grief.
- Pets help lighten your mood.
Being around animals can signal your body to release feel-good hormones like serotonin and oxytocin. Petting a dog or cat may boost your mood and help you feel better both emotionally and physically. Even watching fish swim around a glass bowl may help reduce stress levels and lower your blood pressure.
- Pets help you feel less lonely.
It’s easy to isolate yourself from others when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one. You may feel misunderstood or simply not up to being around friends or family in social situations. Spending time with a pet can help you feel connected to someone outside of yourself. Pets are also nonjudgmental and give and receive love openly.
- Pets help give you a sense of purpose.
No matter what type of pet you have, you’ll need to feed and tend to them daily. A pet’s consistent needs require you to show up time and again and take care of them. This can give you some much-needed motivation, especially on those days when you’re feeling particularly sad or low.
Here at Krause Funeral Home, Bennie, our Grief Therapy Dog, helps grieving people just by being in the room with them. His cheerful spirit and laid-back demeanor may soothe your own grieving spirit. If you’re located in New Berlin, Brookfield, or Milwaukee, send us a message or give us a call to schedule a time to meet Bennie or talk with our compassionate staff.