Helping Your Dog Understand The Loss Of Their Furry Friend
Losing your beloved pet is accompanied by a whirlwind of emotions, namely grief, anger and anxiety. It is an especially heartbreaking experience to go through – for paw parents as well as the other doggies in the household.
You may feel like you are walking in the unknown when it comes to helping your precious pooch through the loss of a pet, as you cannot simply ask what they need during this difficult time. However, there are signs that your dog is experiencing grief and if you notice your pupper displaying one or two of these signs, there are a few things that you can do to help your dog heal.
Before you carry on, read: Losing a furry best friend: 5 steps to take after your pet crosses the rainbow bridge
Signs of grief in dogs
Dogs may not know that their furry friend has passed away, however, they will notice that they are missing. Your dog will start to miss the presence of their pal.
Symptoms of grief in dogs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargic behaviour
- Calling out and searching for their doggie companion
- Unusually aggressive or destructive behaviour
- Following around their owner very closely and feeling separation anxiety when their owner leaves
Read on to learn some tips to help your pet get through depression: Dogs & Depression: Causes Of Depression In Dogs
How to help your dog through the grieving process
Grief can last from two to six months in dogs, and there are many things that you can do to comfort your precious pup and help them heal from the loss they have experienced.
1. Simply spend more time with your dog
Your pet has lost their side-kick, nap-buddy and hide-and-seek partner. Losing their furry friend will leave them feeling bored and anxious. It is important for you to step in and spend some more time with your beloved pet as they start to familiarise themselves with their new normal.
Here are some activities that you can do with your pup:
- Take them on an extra-long walk each day and take new routes to provide a distraction for both you and your dog.
- Buy your dog some new toys and make sure to include a puzzle toy that is likely to keep your dog preoccupied for hours.
- Start an obedience program to teach your dog some new skills and provide some mental stimulation.
- Simply spend more time cuddling and bonding with your pooch. This is very important as both you and your dog will need some extra love during this difficult time.
2. Stick to your routine
The loss of another dog can leave Fluffy feeling stressed over the changes in the household. One of the best ways that you can help your dog adjust is to stick to your day-to-day routine as closely as possible. Ensure to keep feeding, walking and bedtimes as usual to reduce stress. Keeping your set routine will help you deal with your own grief as well.
3. Get your precious pooch another furry friend
Many pet owners will be told that getting a new puppy is the best way to help your dog through their grief. Many times this will be the right move, especially if your dog is social and active, however, it is important to consider a few things before pulling the trigger.
You will need to consider whether you and your dog are ready for a new furry friend. You have gone through heartbreak losing your fur baby and may not be ready for the workload that comes with a new furry family member. You need to consider whether you are one hundred percent ready for the commitment of a new pup.
The second thing that you will need to consider is whether your dog will accept another dog into your home. Your dog may not be ready to replace the tight-knit relationship with another. You can test this by taking your dog to a dog park or inviting a friend and their pup over for a doggie play date.
While you’re here, check this out: 7 reasons why a mixed breed is the best dog you will ever have
If you feel that your dog needs a new companion but getting a new dog is not on the cards, consider going to the dog park more often than usual or enrolling your furry friend into a local doggie daycare.
Losing a furry family member is heartbreaking and a very difficult situation to deal with, however, you will be able to heal alongside your other beloved pets by leaning on each other during the grieving process.
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