(NEW YORK) -- Losing a beloved pet can be an especially devastating experience but now, Israelis researchers have discovered just how much it affects owners. The scientists at Ben-Gurion University of Negev interviewed 29 people who put a dog down in the previous two weeks, asking them various questions, including why they did it, if they felt guilty about it and if they had time to prepare for the dog's passing.
All the pets were between six and 18 years old and had been sick for two years. Although nearly all of the owners were still grieving about the loss of their dogs, just 17 percent said they felt guilty about having to euthanize the animals. Perhaps more significantly, the researchers found that most of the owners reacted in a way similar to the death of a family member or friend.
There were a few instances of people having nightmares and becoming physically ill while various mementos of the dogs remained in about four of ten households. According to the study, those who buried their pets, rather than had them cremated, seemed better able to deal with their dog's passing.
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