There is no doubt that the loss of a pet is devastating.

Whether you are a single person, a couple or a family, the dog, cat or other pet can play a significant and important part in your life.

Many people who take the role of responsible pet owner do so with great gusto and conviction.

They hurry home from work to feed the cat; they get up an hour early to walk the dog and; they spend hours each week training, pampering or just spending time with them.

So, when that pet passes away, the loss is so great many are saying that it is comparable to the death of a person.

And, there are many reasons for this.

Many people have a unique bond with their pets that they don’t have with people.

Dogs, in particular, are loyal and non-judgemental.

They adore their owners regardless of the physical size; social status or dull personality.

Dogs are always pleased to see you and are happy to go just about anywhere with them (the possible exception being the v.e.t.s!)

They look at you with those dark, wet adorning eyes and they have unique personalities that make you laugh and cry.

In fact, 58% of people admit to including their pet in their family and holiday snaps.

As people become more affluent and are more concerned with the welfare of animals, they are focusing a lot of energy on their pets like never before.

It is estimated that the pet industry in the United States alone is worth $60.59b

This is a remarkable indication of the devotion pet owners have towards their pets.

So, when the time comes to say goodbye to Fido or Fluffy the grief is palatable.

People who have lost a pet say the pain they feel is overwhelming.

Homes and yards are reminders of who has gone and theyjust extend the grieving process.

The lives of pets are so heavily intertwined with their owners that when they die, many people claim large vacant holes appear in their lives.

There’s no barking when the mail is delivered.

There’s no need to walk down the pet food aisle at the supermarket.

There’s no need to go to the dog park, the vets, the local training centre or just stroll around the streets anymore.

However, is the death of a pet the equivalent of that of a person or is there something deeper going on in a society that has become more narcissistic and more ‘me’ centred, and are our pets just extension of our overindulgent selves?

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