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  • Writer's pictureMarybeth Haines

How To Help Your Pet Heal From Another Pet's Death

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

Animals are pack oriented and therefore living in your family means you are their “pack”. Pets get used to being with their pack family when there are more than one animal in the household and they get used to being with each other.

We hear of elephants who mourn the loss of one of their pack family members. Chimpanzees have been shown to stand together and watch their fellow mate being taken away and they watch them knowing exactly that they have died.

Domesticated animals can deeply miss their pack family when one of them passes away. It’s important to be able to provide as much support to your furry family members during this time. Here are some ways you can do that.

Home Passing

If your pet passes away at home during a euthanasia procedure or a natural end of life passing, it’s important to allow the other housemates to be able to touch, smell and be around their deceased brother/sister’s body.

This is known as the ‘scent of death’ and all animals know it. Once they have the opportunity to be by their house mate, they may choose to lay beside them or near them. Give them the time they need to process this so that they can heal and move forward.

Veterinarian Clinic Passing

When a pet is not present at the death of their house mate, some will search for their ‘missing’ furry mate because they didn’t have the opportunity to see that they have passed on.

I remember someone telling me the story of how their pet needed to be euthanized at the veterinarian’s office. And when they didn’t bring their beloved dog home with them, the housemate dog was running restlessly from room to room and window to window in trying to find his furry friend. He didn’t know his mate had passed.

They took a fur clipping of their beloved dog and the blanket that he was in when he passed and gave it to their dog so that she could smell the ‘scent of death’.

Upon that smelling, after a little while, she was able to calm as she knew the that her friend would not be returning. This helped their surviving dog very well as then they could begin the healing process together.

Concluding Thoughts

Being mindful of ways you can support your furry family members who are waiting at home for their pack member to return can be very helpful not only in their healing but also in yours. When a loving pet passes away, you are hurting and are most likely in shock as you being the process of healing.

Love is unique and therefore our grief and our pet’s grief will be unique too. Let’s take this time to honour the deceased pet as well as ourselves and furry family members to make this healing the most supportive experience it can be.

More information on how to help a grieving pet can be read by clicking HERE

With love and hugs,


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