How Dogs Grieve: A Guide For Pet Parents
Grief Is Profound, and Canines Feel It Too
When we lose someone we love, there is grief beyond words. Our four-legged buddies also feel the same when they lose someone. However, every dog is different and grieves in its own way. While dogs may possess a 6th sense and can detect certain things in humans, it is still uncertain if they understand death.
For this reason, it is important to be aware of the signs that your dog might be grieving. Here are some of the ways your dog might grieve.
How Do Dogs Grieve?
The most common way dogs grieve may include the following:
- Mournful eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Don’t want to play
- Move slower
- Less active
- Mournful howl
- Always looking down
- Blank stares
There are also other uncommon ways dogs express their grief. These may include vocalization such as whimpering and whining. They also exhibit personality changes such as being more demanding for attention and clinginess. Sometimes, the dog frequently stays in the favorite spot of the deceased.
Why Do Dogs Grieve?
There are a few theories that have been put forward to explain why dogs mourn.
For one, grieving is their natural response to the changes that have occurred in their life due to the loss of someone. For example, if your dog lost a companion dog, they may feel sad because they don’t have someone to play with anymore.
If your dog lost his master, he might feel sad because he is used to having his master feed him or take him for a walk.
Many times, dogs don’t realize their pet parent is dead. Typically, the dog feels its owner will return. This anticipation also contributes to the sadness of the dog.
How Do You Help A Grieving Dog?
The first thing you need to do is bring your dog to the vet. You need to confirm first whether your dog is really grieving or the signs you are seeing are caused by a health problem. While you are with your vet, you can also further check with him what you can do to relieve grieving in your dog.
Now, after determining that your dog is truly grieving, there are a few things you can do. Here are some of them:
- Spend more time with your dog
- Show more affectionate
- Invite friends and other pets if your grieving dog enjoys having some company
- Ignore bad behavior
- Praise good behavior
Dogs grieve in different ways. So, don’t rush the grieving process of your dog. Moreover, dogs are not like people who are able to express their feelings. So, please be patient.
Finally, know when you need your vet’s help. If your dog isn’t improving and the way he grieves is already affecting his health, then don’t hesitate to call your vet. If possible, read more about how a four-legged friend grieves so you can better understand your pet and take care of him better.
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