Do Dogs Grieve the Death of a Close Family Member?

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Did you ever think that dogs are capable of grieving? Just like us human beings, dogs also form strong bonds with its family. When a close family member passes away, your canine will be greatly upset. It will need help in coping up with this drastic change that took place in its life. When we lose someone dear to us, we have family and friends who support us to get through difficult times. By spending time with us, they will help in overcoming loneliness.
Even your canine will need help when a close family member passes away because it won’t know what to do. But before we get to how you can help your canine cope with the situation, you need to know if your canine is grieving or not.

Signs if your canine is grieving

Although your canine won’t be directly able to tell you whether it is grieving, it gives out telltale signs. If you notice the following in your canine’s behavior, it is grieving:

  • Lack of interest or engagement
  • Lethargic
  • Looks depressed
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness during night time
  • Spends a large portion of its time sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Whimpers or howls regularly

How to help a grieving dog?

When a close family member passes away, your canine may suffer from separation anxiety. As a result of this, your canine will wait for the close family member to return or it will search every room. On top of that, your canine will easily pick up on your feelings and feel depressed. You can help your grieving canine in the following ways:

  • Build a new and strong bond with your canine by spending quality time with it. Over time your canine will get over the loss and continue with its life.
  • Take your canine out for long walks and set aside additional time so that you can play with it. Regular exercise will keep your canine calm as it has an outlet to release its anxiety.
  • Ensure you feed your canine according to its regular schedule. Although your canine won’t eat right away, you can get its appetite back with extra treats and yummy meals.
  • You can ask your friends to bring over their canines to your house so that your dog has playmates. It is important for grieving dogs to have company as it will help them get over the significant loss.
  • If your canine is not responding to the tips above, consult your vet or an animal behaviorist for assistance.

By constantly caring and taking care of it, your canine will form new bonds. If you give your canine enough time, it will be able to cope with the loss and move on with its life.

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