Should my other dog or cat be present during the transition of their furry friend?

SebastienMaxEverybody wonders if the surviving members of the furry clan will be traumatized by witnessing the euthanasia of their buddy. Animals are incredibly sensitive and intuitive. They are very in touch with how they are feeling and how others around them are feeling. When they are strongly bonded with their human family, they pick up on how we feel and act accordingly. They usually know already that their buddy is ill and is ready to make their transition. Often times, they have stopped their usual routine with them a few days or weeks before their buddy transitions. They know, adjust and accept. They aren’t really concerned with “how” their friend’s transition is going to happen. They just know it will. What we can do to honor the bond they have with their friend is to allow them to, at the very minimum, see the body of their buddy after they have transitioned so they can have some closure. After visiting with their body, they will know that their friend has passed. Allowing them to visit once their friend has passed is what is most important. Whether or not they are present during the actual euthanasia is really more dependent on the personal preferences of the family, whether or not they will be disruptive, etc. WalterBella

In the photo to the left, Bella takes a quiet moment of respectful silence as she visits with her littermate, Walter. They spent their entire lives together. Bella is known in her circle as being very active, affectionate and she never sits still. Everyone who knows Bella is absolutely shocked that she is actually sitting quietly for any amount of time while she visits with Walter after his transition. She had a strong bond with Walter and deserves this valuable time with him.


Helping our companion animals transition really is a family event. It’s respectful and sweet to allow anyone, including the other animals in their life, to say farewell in their own way.


2 thoughts on “Should my other dog or cat be present during the transition of their furry friend?

  1. It is so sad to think about it. This blog shows how similar the human being to dogs and cats by being so sensitive to their buddy transition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  2. It was with the idea of helping my remaining cat to adjust to the death of his feline companion of 19 years that I allowed him to be there when she died. Unfortunately, as he had developed dementia (being 2 years older than she was), he seemed not to grasp the fact that she had died, and in the ensuing 1 year and 8 months, has never given up on calling to her and looking for her. Lately, as he himself is weakening, he has been doing less of that, but it has been heartbreaking to see.

    He has made three great cat friends during his life, and I suspect that bringing in a kitten might well have blunted his loneliness and grief, but my husband feels that due to our advanced age, we should not have any more pets. I am desolated at the thought, not only of (probably soon) losing the best and most intelligent and long-lived cat I have ever had, but also of living in a home without pets.

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