One of our dogs recently passed away. Needless to say, we’re all heartbroken but we’re also worried about how his loss will impact our other dog, who was very close to him as well. How can we help her to cope with the loss of her housemate and best friend?
Mourning a Pet in Garden Oaks
Dear Mourning a Pet,
I’m so sorry that you have recently lost a pet. Losing a pet is such a tough thing to endure for both the humans in the family as well as the other pets. Just like humans, pets experience loss and grief and may act out in response to this stress. Additionally, our pets pick up on our own emotions and will certainly sense the tension as the humans in your home go through the grief process of losing a pet.
Watch For Physical Signs of Grief
The folks at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences explain that pets often show physical signs of stress in the face of the loss of a pet. Texas A&M University’s Kit Darling explains, “Pets mourn in different ways, but some of the signs to look for are changes in eating and sleeping habits; lethargy or lack of interested in daily activities, insecurity or vocalization,” Darling said. “They may not want to eat or play, and they may not want to participate in activities that they normally enjoy or even sleep in the same place.”
Helping Your Dog To Cope
The best way to help your other dog cope in this time of sadness is to try and keep her schedule consistent and calm with much love and patience. Darling says, “I think the owners and veterinarian should decide what works best in each situation,” she said. “Some ways to help our pets cope include keeping normal feeding and exercise schedules, taking a positive obedience or agility class, introducing new toys and exploring new places, and doing the things your pet loves most like going for walks, playing with toys, and cuddling.”
Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at email@example.com
Pet of the Week
Meet Clyde. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? Clyde was strangled by his “owner,” which caused massive cuts to his neck and circulation problems to his face that resulted in excessive swelling. Thankfully, Clyde was rescued and is on the mend. Even though Clyde was so horribly abused, he is the sweetest dog on the planet. He’s got some cattledog in him, so he’s smart as can be and eager to begin again in a loving home. To learn more, go to www.scoutshonor.org.