Pets Grieve the Loss of Other Pets
In previous blogs we discussed the impact the loss of another pet can have on the surviving pet. In this short blog, Jennifer Melvin, instructor for the Pet Loss Grief Program at AIHCP lists a few things to look out for in the surviving pet.
A dog’s reaction to the loss of a loved one, whether that be two legged or four, can be heartbreaking to watch. You may see the dog wandering around the house, sleeping in places it used to spend time with its companion or being “down”. It is common for a dog to have behavioral and mood changes after a pet companion or person leaves and doesn’t return. Most often what you might see is a decrease in appetite, being a bit more distant and melancholy or snuggling more and wanting more attention for reassurance. Sometimes you’ll notice changes in their bathroom and elimination habits. It’s not a lot different than humans in that the significance of the relationship is going to influence their reactions to the loss. But, their support system is going to influence their movement through their grief. So be patient, nurturing and soft with them.
In many ways, the surviving pet and you become partners in grief and can find solace in each others company as you grieve the loss of a mutual friend.
Mark Moran, MA