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Grieving pets, grieving humans. Is there a difference?

November 25th, 2021

I don’t like the word grief; it sends me instantly into a blue mood full of loss, pain, tears, desperation, sadness, sometimes depression. Grief is such a sad word. All of us, humans and pets, experience it at some point in life.

There is not too much difference between humans and grieving pets.

Veronika & Tapka

My friend Veronika lost both parents within a year during the 2020 lockdown. They had a little dog called Tapka and she was really attached to both parents. She spent every single day of her life with them, never been alone. She took the loss very hard, and for her being an elderly dog, it was even harder to accept and adjust to a new life at Veronika’s.

It wasn’t too bad during the lockdown, but as soon as Veronika returned to work, Tapka started to experience extreme separation anxiety. 

She would start stressing from just seeing that family was putting coats and shoes on. Crying, shaking, panting… Veronika tried everything from all sorts of products to installing cameras to keep an eye on Tapka.  

Once we were chatting, and she mentioned all this to me in kind of desperation. I suggested trying Comfort Blend for a start. Comfort Blend is deeply calming and helps not just with separation anxiety but grief as well. 

How can essential oils help with grief?

Research has shown that the inhalation of essential oils can communicate signals to the olfactory system and stimulate the brain to release neurotransmitters that help regulate our mood. Endorphins, our brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, are a kind of “protective system” for the body when it’s hit by intense stress, tension, or grief. They have numerous other benefits such as: alleviating depression, reducing stress and anxiety, and boosting self-esteem.

An example of one such essential oil is Ylang Ylang, which can be found in Comfort Blend. Another example, as found in one study, is that smelling bergamot, lavender, and lemon essential oils help trigger your brain to release serotonin and dopamine.

I sent Veronika 10ml Comfort Blend and also 30ml Calming Floral Spray to try. Jitka also advised her to use the licky mat. Licking is soothing for dogs; endorphins are released, creating a sense of safe and calm.

Veronika’s feedback

“My Miniature Pinscher Tapka suffered from separation anxiety every time I went to work. She was with my parents for more than 11 years every single day, but then mum and dad, unfortunately, passed away, and I had to take Tapka.
Every day’s process of leaving my house for work was a real ordeal for both of us. Not sure who was more stressed. Then Bea told me about Vita Canis products. I thought I would give it a try. I used Calming floral spray to calm Tapka down when I was leaving for work, and for her extreme separation anxiety, I decided to try Comfort Blend. Tapka is slowly getting there. Comfort Blend and Calming Floral Spray combination is a big help.”

And what about the grief of humans for the loss of their beloved pet?

I really don’t like hearing: “It was only an animal! or “You can’t compare it to the loss of a human.”
Only a person who never had a loving animal in their life can say that!
A good friend of mine lost within six years two cats. The first one never came home, so she didn’t get a chance to grieve and have some closure. Anna couldn’t accept it as there was still hope. She is very spiritual and kept contacting mediums to help her to locate her beloved cat. But nothing happened. And then her second cat died recently.
Pet loss is real, significant, and heart-wrenching. Anna is ridden with guilt that she didn’t do more… but in my opinion, she did the best she could.
The way to cope she has created a small, beautiful altar to grieve for her loss. She will burn a candle or bring fresh flowers. We all grieve differently. What is too long or too short?
For each person and animal, it’s very individual.

Bea xx

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