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Sunday, January 10, 2021

3 Ways to Help Your Grieving Pet

Contributed/Collaborated Post:

The loss of a pet is devastating. It can be hard enough to go through the grieving process, yourself. Things like looking at pictures of your furry friend, or finding cremation urns for animals and pets to keep them forever can be helpful in allowing you to work through their death. 

But, if you have another dog, it’s incredibly important not to ignore them during this difficult time. Remember, they lost their family member, too, and likely their best friend. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship you assume your two pets had. Studies have shown that dogs can absolutely experience grief when it comes to the loss of another pet in the house. 

So, what can you do to help your other four-legged friend through the grieving process? How can you get through it together? 

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1. Keep a Regular Routine

Because you’re probably grieving, you might feel like you’re all over the place in terms of your daily routine. But, try to keep your dog’s routine as close to normal as possible. That includes waking up at the same time each day, taking them for a walk, feeding them, etc. 

By giving them some kind of consistency, you can make the change going on in their life a bit easier to handle. They are, undoubtedly, going to feel like something is different. But, doing normal, everyday things lets them know that life will continue to go on. 

2. Try to Act Normally

Again, because you’re grieving, you might actually seek comfort from your other dog. It’s okay to give them a little extra love and affection. But, dogs can pick up on your energy more than you might realize. They might even become anxious if they are feeling that from you. 

Try to act as normal as possible around your dog, even if you can tell they are sad or grieving, themselves. Don’t enable them by “giving in” if it seems like they aren’t acting like themselves. For example, don’t hand-feed them if they’re not eating, don’t allow bad behavior, etc. 

3. Be More Interactive

One thing your dog will be missing is the interactive play they had with their friend. So, try to fill in that gap as much as possible. Play often with your dog throughout the day, remembering that they lost their playmate and companion. Try to do things you saw your dogs doing together, to the best of your ability. 

Play “tug of war” with a favorite toy or rope. Toss a ball around. Or, go to a dog park and let them run free with other dogs. The socialization will be good for them, and it can actually give you an idea of how they might do if you were to bring a new dog into your home. 

There’s no denying that the grieving process is hard for everyone when it comes to the loss of a pet. But, don’t ignore any other animals in your house when that loss occurs. You’re all in this process together, and they need your support.