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Grief in dogs: when the animal partner is missing


The grief in dogs can become extremely great when the beloved dog partner dies. Death is as close to the pet as it is to the owner and often ends in a major depression. However, you can help your dog to overcome grief. Image: Shutterstock / Hamik

There is no doubt that dogs can grieve as much as humans about the loss of a loved two-legged or four-legged friend. Now it is important to help your four-legged friend overcome death and grief so that he does not fall into a major depression.

Grief in dogs is natural

Four-legged friends usually mourn intensely for their deceased partner or the second dog. They're looking for him, they don't want to eat anymore, they don't want to play anymore. Grief in dogs is just as emotional as we know it from ourselves. The reasons for this lie in the social structure of the dog.

Dogs mourn like humans

The dog's bond between his master or the dog partner is similar to the bond between parents and children. There are also brain structures in which feelings are processed. Another factor is the hormonal balance. Grief leads to an increase in stress hormones in the blood in humans, grief in dogs is the same.

Let your dog say goodbye to the animal partner

Your dog will grieve and show compassion after a loss. In order to get over it gently, many dog ​​psychologists advise giving the animal the opportunity to say goodbye.

If it is possible for you to put your second dog to sleep, bring the vet to your home. So you and your pet can say goodbye to your best friend together. Your dog will naturally become aware of the partner's death and will mourn less because death in dog packs is something completely natural.

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Routine and habits in the grief phase are important

Don't overwhelm your dog in the early stages of grief and give him time to get over the loss alone. However, it is important that you keep the routine in dealing with your four-legged friend, so that you continue to feed him or go for a walk at the usual times, as you did before the death of your partner. This helps your dog to lower its stress level.

Also, don't pamper your pet, for example by feeding it out of hand if it spurns its food. This behavior could be counterproductive for your dog in its grieving phase. Better habits and security that strengthen your four-legged friend are better.

Help for the dog: Overcoming the grief over the death of the partner

How long do dogs mourn? There is no general answer to this question, because it depends on the individual character of your animal. If your four-legged friend mourns the loss of his dog friend for longer, help him with homeopathic calming agents.

Additional activity, such as trying to teach your dog new tricks, can also be distracting. Your best friend will thank you. Time will slowly heal all wounds.

After the grief phase - what's next?

After your dog has overcome the first grief phase, the question may arise whether it is time to provide a new animal partner. Don't rush this decision. On the one hand you have to be ready for another dog yourself, on the other hand your four-legged friend should also be open for it. A second dog in the household could possibly make the situation worse if your old dog feels stressed by the new arrival or sees its territory threatened.

Tip: Try it with a friend or acquaintance's dog first. Let your four-legged friend deal intensively with the other dog. If you see that he gets along well with him and plays with him, it is an indication that your dog may be ready for a new partner.