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:
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.
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*Results may vary based on factors such as age, size and physical condition of your pet.
Vet Organics supplements are manufactured from natural and organic materials known to improve a pet's health and quality of life. If you suspect that your pet may be suffering from a severe medical condition, consult your veterinarian immediately.
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