Help A Grieving Pet

What to do when you have a grieving pet


Author: Marianne Soucy

When you suffer the loss of a pet, it is often not just you who are grieving and having a hard time coping with the loss of your pet. If you have other pets in your household, and they have been close friends with the pet who just died, then they might be grieving too.

The signs that your pets are grieving can vary, but you have probably noticed a change in their behaviour. The grieving pets might get restless, anxious, depressed, lose their appetite, crave more attention, wander off searching for their dead animal companion, etc.

Grieving is a normal process that both humans and many animals go through. And often pets who have lost a friend, will get through the grieving period by themselves with a little extra care and attention from their human caretaker.

Tips for helping a grieving pet

If you have just lost a pet, and the surviving pet is behaving out of the ordinary, such as not eating, being depressed, lethargic, restless, etc., then there are several things you can do yourself to help your grieving pet. Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep the grieving pet’s routines as close to normal as possible
  • You might have your pet checked by a vet to rule out medical issues
  • Realize your pet is grieving just like you are, so allow him or her to grieve, but be there for your pet and give extra care and attention
  • Often it’s best to avoid getting a new pet right away. Instead wait a while and allow yourselves to grieve your deceased pet
  • Take care of yourself and get help if needed. Getting help for your own grief will make it easier for you to really be there for your grieving pet.
  • There might be times when the grieving pet seems to be unable to move through the grief by himself. In that case your pet might benefit from animal healing, reiki, or shamanic journeying.

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“This article is copyright © Marianne Soucy. Marianne is the founder of Healing Pet Loss  where she helps grieving pet owners cope with and heal after the loss of a beloved animal companion. Her unique approach combines practical steps for coping & animal and spirit messages to bring comfort, healing, and inspiration. For more support on coping with pet loss, visit