12/21/2016 03:02 EST

How To Deal With The Loss Of A Beloved Pet

It can get hard during this time of the year.

A death is always hard around the holidays, but the loss of a pet might not always be acknowledged as serious by some.

Research and experience both show that the loss of a pet is hard to deal with, and many treat their pets as members of the family.

According to a 2004 study, when a bond breaks between an owner and pet, it’s natural that strong emotions will result.

But even during a cheery time of year, it’s OK to take a bit of time to acknowledge your loss and do what you need to work through it.

The fact that you’ve lost an animal and not a person doesn’t make your grief any less real or valid. Here are 12 tips for dealing with the loss of a pet, around the holidays or any time of the year.