Do Pets Grieve?

Cats Dogs
Do Pets Grieve?Humans grieve as a natural process of dealing with the loss of a loved one. Everyone knows how hard it can be to deal with the death of a close friend or family member. We also experience grief as the result of losing a pet — putting a furry friend to rest is traumatic and different for any pet owner. But what happens when we die before our pets? Do our pets grieve? Studies have shown that dogs and cats feel the loss of another pet in the house. This is especially true of pets that are friends. Cats tend to handle grief better than dogs, though pets often show signs of mourning that a remaining family member might not see. Dogs, however, often feel an extended and intense anxiety upon losing their owners because they are so emotionally attached. Even short-term separations can be difficult for dogs. Dogs with separation anxiety that manifests in whining, barking, howling, destructive behavior, or house accidents are especially likely to show strong signs of mourning. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to simply ask a dog how he’s feeling. Instead, we have to pay attention to some of the common signs of grief:
  • Moping
  • Low appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Weight loss
In fact, many of the signs of grief in dogs are also signs of grief in humans. And like humans, dogs will eventually overcome their depression. Depending on the dog’s bond with his owner, this process can take several months or even longer. The best way to deal with a dog’s grief is to be supportive and loving and to allow him to feel what he’s feeling. Keep him on his regular diet, provide tasty treats, and give him lots of opportunity to exercise and run. Allow the dog to sleep in the bedroom with his new caretaker so he can begin to feel safe and included again — he needs to understand that he has a new family. Don’t forget to account for what will happen to your dogs in case something happens to you. Many pet owners are making financial arrangements for their pets in the event of their death; at minimum you should be clear with your family about who you want to take your pets in the event of your death.

Craig Davis

Craig is an entrepreneur and business executive with an extensive background in all aspects of small business management. As a long-time dog advocate and guardian, he founded Vet Organics to develop an affordable, all-natural, safe, and effective dog ear infection remedy. With the help of natural chemists and botanical experts, Vet Organics products have helped thousands of dogs around the world find relief for painful, chronic ear infections. Craig went on to design powerful all-natural formulas that address a variety of dog and cat ailments, health-boosting supplements, and nutritious treats. When he isn’t designing solutions for dog and cat well-being, he can be found mentoring young entrepreneurs in his community, traveling the world, or building other businesses with an ethical and sustainable focus.

What Customers Are Saying


EcoEars by Vet Organics fixed our girl's ears in the first couple of days & she was a whole new, happy dog again. THANK YOU Vet Organics!!!*

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I used this product for my Boston last summer. Worked awesome. In 2 days, I've seen a improvement. Within 4 days, the infection was gone. My pit bull started having an issue with his...

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*Results may vary based on factors such as age, size and physical condition of your pet.