Helping Pets with the Loss of a Housemate

Losing a furry companion can be an emotionally challenging time for both humans and their surviving pets. Just like humans, animals also experience grief and require support during this period. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to help your remaining pet cope with the loss of their housemate or furry friend, know that there are ways to provide comfort and assistance. In this blog post, we will explore some practical and compassionate strategies to help your pet navigate the grieving process and find solace in their changed circumstances.

dogs nose to nose

Understand the Signs of Grief:

Recognizing the signs of grief in animals is crucial in order to offer appropriate support. Common indications of grief may include changes in appetite, sleep patterns, or energy levels. Some pets may become more withdrawn or exhibit clingy behaviour, while others may display signs of anxiety or restlessness. Be patient with your pet and give them space if they need it, but also provide comforting reassurance when they seek your presence.

dog and cat laying down togetherMaintain Their Routine:

Consistency is key when helping your pet cope with loss. Maintaining their daily routine as much as possible provides them with stability and a sense of security during this turbulent time. Stick to their regular feeding schedule, exercise routine, and playtime activities. Familiarity in their environment and daily interactions can help reduce their anxiety and provide a reassuring sense of normalcy.

Offer Extra Attention and Affection:

During the grieving process, your pet may seek additional attention and affection. Be there for them and offer reassurance through gentle touch, soothing words, and cuddles. Spending quality time with your pet not only provides them comfort but also strengthens the bond between you. Engaging in interactive play, going for walks, or grooming sessions can help distract them from their grief and promote positive emotional well-being.

Provide Environmental Enrichment:

Keeping your pet mentally stimulated and physically engaged is crucial during this time. Provide toys, puzzles, and interactive games to prevent feelings of loneliness or boredom. Engaging their senses and encouraging them to explore their surroundings can help distract them from their loss and redirect their focus. Consider introducing new toys or rotating their existing ones to keep things fresh and exciting. There is a Facebook group called ‘Canine Enrichment’ that has some neat ideas for activities and unique ways to create stimulation.

two dogs lying on white sheets


Helping your pet navigate through the grieving process requires patience, compassion, and understanding. By recognizing the signs of grief, maintaining their routine, offering extra attention, and providing environmental enrichment, you can help ease the pain of loss and support your furry friend in their healing journey. If your pet appears unusually anxious or behaviour changes seem to persist, consider reaching out to your family veterinarian for advice. Alternatively, our compassionate team of veterinarians and hospice care coordinators at MMVHS in Toronto, ON can provide resources to assist. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Remember, just as you need time to heal, your pet does too. With your love and support, they will gradually find solace in their changed circumstances and continue to thrive in the loving environment you provide.

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About Midtown Mobile Veterinary Hospice Services

At Midtown Mobile Veterinary Hospice Services, we are dedicated to helping people say goodbye to their pets with dignity and respect. We bring our services to our patients’ homes where they can be cared for in a quiet, familiar environment surrounded by their loved ones.