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Comfort Your Pet When Another Pet Dies

I am not an expert in animal emotions. All I know is what I have observed with my pets. Hopefully, the suggestions I have will be helpful to anyone who finds themselves dealing with a pet that is saddened by the death of another pet.

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It's important to watch for signs of depression in your pet. They may stop eating, become reclusive and have no interest in playing or interacting with you or other pets.
It's important that you spend extra time with the pet that is mourning. If you have multiple pets, be sure you spend one on one time with the one who is depressed.

Keep the household routine such as feeding schedules, grooming schedule, and play time as normal as possible.

Give your dog some new activities to look forward to such as a ride in the car, a walk around the block or a trip to a dog park. If it's your cat that has lost its playmate, introduce some new interactive toys into her world. Make things around the house fun and exciting. Cats often like hide and seek adventures. Provide some new entertainment for the cat in the form of a window seat where she can watch outdoor activity.

You might want to temporarily give the dog or cat a blanket or toy that belonged to the deceased pet. They might feel comforted by having that nearby. I have seen this idea be successful and I have seen the objects be totally ignored by the mourning pet. I suppose it's a “try it and see what happens” idea.

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Don't expect your pet to eagerly accept another pet that you might bring in to fill the void. Introduce a new pet slowly and don't expect the bonding process to be quick. Your cat or dog may never have the same relationship with a new pet as it did the previous pet. They may share your home in a friendly manner without a deep bond or they may form a deep bond as time goes by. Just be sure that you give each pet an equal share of your undivided attention.

By VeronicaHB

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March 1, 20120 found this helpful

This is a very good, and also very important post. Too many people will care for their own grief, whether it's over the loss of a beloved person, or a beloved pet, but will not even consider that the other pets may be grieving too.

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Which brings up the reason for my post. Pets not only grieve over the loss of another pet, but also the loss of a "human pet".

And also, when the loss first occurs, whether it's human or animal, give the ones left behind a chance to go thru the grieving process. Don't expect them to be interested in doing the things mentioned above right away. Give them a few days or a week even (or longer if necessary - every animal, just like every person - grieves on his/her own schedule) before trying the things VeronicaHB suggested. All her suggestions are great, don't get me wrong. But they need a chance to feel the grief before they can be expected to start the healing process.

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March 1, 20120 found this helpful

Cricketnc is exactly right. Pets do need time to grieve just as we need time to grieve. Pets grieve for their human companions in a very heartbreaking manner sometimes.

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Patience and love during this time is extremely important.Thanks for pointing out that first comes grieving then healing.

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March 1, 20120 found this helpful

I was given an elderly Chihuahua after my friend's father-in-law died and she couldn't care for the dog. I was fortunate to get one of his shirts that he had recently worn and still had his scent on it. I put it in her bed and she was happy to snuggle into it but it still took several weeks for her to actually join in to everyday activities with my family and several more weeks to actually integrate with my 2 other chihuahuas, one of them was actually one of her puppies from 4 years ago but I guess she would not have any recognition of that.

She lived out the rest of her life in our household as a much loved elderly family member and I was devastated when she died suddenly of undiagnosed heart failure some 18 months later.

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March 2, 20120 found this helpful

Very good tips. My mom's neighbor's dog died suddenly two weeks ago and the other dog didn't want to go run around outside anymore without her playmate. My mom went over to play with her during the week and I went over on the weekend.

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She will go outside and play again now. We are careful not to mention the deceased dog's name in case hearing it makes her feel bad.

Also the kitty in the above picture looks like the cat I had growing up! Her name was Sinbad and she lived to be almost 18 years old!

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March 3, 20120 found this helpful

My cats, Squeaker and Widget, always played together. Squeaker was a couple of years old, Widget was a couple of months when they first met. Widget was a stray that we found and decided to adopt. They loved each other and were inseparable, always sleeping in a little bed I had made for them. After Widget died suddenly from undiagnosed feline leukemia, Squeaker refused to ever sleep in that bed again.

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February 23, 20180 found this helpful

I recently lost a dog. The other dog was depressed for a long time. We got another dog a few months later but the other dog wanted no part of him.

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I definitely saw the things mentioned in this article. Thank you.

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February 24, 20180 found this helpful

This is all so true. My daughter had two dogs that were together for over 10 years. When the older of the 2 died the male when into mourning and lost lots of weight. The dog was never the same after the death of his friend. They tried everything and got a another friend for him but it wasn't the same. He died at 13 about a month ago.

My 8 year granddaughter took it pretty well by saying that he is happy now. Tank and Autumn are in dog heaven running and playing together again.

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March 1, 20190 found this helpful

I know very much about losing a pet! I had 2 Poms,they were both 14 years old,only 2 months apart.They loved each other so much.When Lit'l Bit was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure,my vet told me to take him home and love him for as long as he was not in distress or pain.Within a week,he had stopped eating,so did his mate,Lady.It was as if Lady knew that something was going on.She never left his side.Where he went,she went! Within a few days,I knew that it was time for me to let him go,so hard ,but I was not going to let him live in pain! I held him in my arms as the vet put him out of upcoming pain and misery.He knew that he was loved,more than life itself! Lady looked everywhere for him for a few days and she still was not eating very much still.We doted attention upon her,changed their routine,even changed their food.It took at least a month before she started acting normal again.Their pain and grief is as bad as ours is........and we still grieve.Gone but never forgotten!

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