Pet Grief: Helping Your Pet Cope with the Loss of Another Pet

Can dogs and cats feel grief? Many animal experts say yes. If you have a multi-pet household and one of your animals passes on, the other pets in the house will surely feel the loss. Here are some ideas for you to help your dog or cat cope with the death of their companion.


Looking for their lost friend

One of the saddest things that happens after the loss of a pet is seeing the other pet wander around the house looking for their missing companion, often while crying. Experts suggest that it can be helpful to let the surviving pet see the body of the deceased pet (if possible) so that it can help them to understand their friend is gone and won’t be coming back.


Calming herbs and pheromones

Many pet owners swear by herbal essences designed to calm and soothe pets. Try Star of Bethlehem from Bach Flower Remedies, it’s designed to calm pets who have experienced trauma, shock, or stress. Cat owners can experiment with calming pheromone products like Feliway to help relieve the surviving cat’s distress.


Create new rituals and routines

The surviving pet can feel better when you create new, positive routines for him to look forward to. This can include spending a few minutes a day grooming and stroking him, trying out new toys and games, and finding interactive treat puzzles or dispensers to engage his interest. Take your dog on more walks, outings, and trips in the car. This increased quality time with you will help the healing process.


Getting another pet

Many pet owners wonder when or if to get another companion for the surviving pet. Experts recommend not rushing out to get another pet too soon. Adding another animal to the household can be stressful, and not a good idea when the surviving pet is still experiencing grief. Wait a while to see how your pet adjusts to the new situation. Many will be perfectly happy to be the only pet. If you do get another animal, take the time to make sure she will be a compatible companion for your surviving pet.


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  • Aaron Seminoff
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