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Understanding Your Grieving Dog: 10 Ways to Comfort Your Canine Companion

If you’ve made it to this article, then it’s likely you’re going through a family heartbreak and probably have a grieving dog you need to help.  First and foremost, we’re terribly sorry for your loss.

If you are mourning the loss of a dog, and have a surviving one in the home, it’s important to know what grieving dog symptoms to look out for, and what you can do to ease their pain.

Why Is Pet Loss So Heartbreaking?

Pets play such an important role in our lives, providing us with companionship, love, and support. For many pet owners, their pets are considered members of the family, and losing one of them can be a devastating experience. 

In fact, research has shown that the death of a pet can be just as difficult to cope with as the loss of a human family member or friend.

Dogs Feel It Just Like We Do

grieving dog symptoms

When it comes to mourning, dogs are no exception. While dogs may not express their grief in the exact same ways that humans do, they are still capable of experiencing the intense emotions that come with the loss of a loved one.

Come with us as we address some frequently asked questions, provide some tips and resources for moving forward, and recommend some tools that may help to comfort your grieving dog.

How Do You Recognize The Signs Of A Grieving Dog?

When it comes to grieving dog symptoms, there are a number of tell-tale signs to be on the lookout for. 

  • A grieving dog may become clingier than usual, seeking more affection and attention. They may constantly follow you around the house and need you close at all times.

  • Your dog may become restless and spend time pacing back and forth as a sign of grief.

  • A grieving dog may eat less than usual, or refuse to eat anything altogether. This is important to keep a handle on, as it can lead to extreme weight loss or other health problems.

  • Your dog may become more vocal than usual, through whining, howling, or barking, and appear distressed.

  • Much like humans, grieving dogs can exhibit signs of depression. These may include social withdrawal, decreased energy, and loss of interest in their favorite activities.

How To Help A Grieving Dog: 10 Methods To Provide Comfort

grieving dog

Here are our top 10 tips for comforting your grieving dog in their time of need:

Recognize That Your Dog Is Grieving

When a pet loses their companion, whether that be a human or a fellow canine, they tend to experience grief in the same way that we do. You may notice changes in their behavior, such as lethargy and lack of appetite.

It’s important to be patient and understanding during this time and to extend as much extra attention to them as you can—while also providing the space they need to process the loss.

Stick To A Routine

Dogs are creatures of habit, and they thrive on structure and routine. Maintaining a consistent schedule can help them feel secure during a time of uncertainty and upheaval. 

Be sure to keep their exercise, feeding, and playtime as consistent as possible, and stick to familiar routines like keeping your regular walking routes and playing the same games.

Spend Quality Time Together

It’s more important than ever to make an effort to spend quality time with your pet so that you can bond in meaningful ways. This may include cuddle time, special outings, or healthy treats. 

Show your dog just how loved and valued they are and let it be known that they have your unconditional support.

Keep Them Occupied

Offering plenty of stimulation like exercise and games to your grieving dog can prevent boredom and sadness from creeping in. 

Play with them, take them on walks or runs, and find them some interactive toys to challenge their mind and keep them entertained.

Spoil Your Dog

Providing your dog with extra love and attention through pampering can help to lift their spirits. Offer them their favorite treats, groom them, or massage them

Overall, now is the time to give your grieving dog some extra TLC.

Comfort Them As Needed

If you notice your pet has an increased need to be close to you and cuddle up to you more than usual, make sure that you let them. 

Make sure they have a safe, comfortable space to relax in, such as a cozy bed or a favorite spot on the couch, and use physical touch and soothing words to make them feel calm and secure.

Minimize Alone Time

Spending time alone can be particularly difficult for grieving pets, as that’s a time when they would have ordinarily turned to your other dog for entertainment and companionship.

If possible, try to adjust your schedule, or make arrangements for someone to stay with them during the day. If you need to leave them alone, leave them with plenty of toys, a comfortable space, and soothing music to help them relax.

Look Into Calming Aids

Some pets may benefit from calming aids. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian about options that could help to relieve your grieving dog’s anxiety, but some options may include:

  • Using calming scents, such as lavender, to help relax your dog. You can use essential oils, diffusers, or sprays.

  • Playing soothing music or white noise to help your dog relax and feel safe.

  • Providing your dog with a safe chew toy or treat, such as a KONG filled with peanut butter, to help distract and calm them.

  • Using a natural supplement, such as chamomile or valerian root, to help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

  • Consulting with your veterinarian about prescription medication options, such as anti-anxiety medication, which may be necessary in some cases.

Give Your Dog Time To Process The Change

Be patient and allow your grieving dog to process the loss in their own way, and at their own pace. It may take some time, and won’t be easy, but with the right level of support and understanding, your pet will gradually adjust to their new normal.

Consider A Cuddle Clones Replica For Your Best Friend

cuddle clones for grieving dog

At Cuddle Clones, we specialize in lifelike stuffed animal replicas of pets, thoughtfully crafted with love and care. They are perfect for those who want to cherish the memory of their beloved furry friends. 

Our mission is to bring comfort and support to those who are grieving the loss of a pet by providing a unique way to keep their memory alive. In particular, we understand the pain of losing a pet and how it can affect other pets in the household. 

Don’t Forget To Look After Yourself

As much as you want to be there for your other dog, it’s important to look after yourself too. Here are some things you can do to help you cope with your grief:

  • It's okay to feel sad, angry, or even guilty. Allow yourself to express your emotions and process them in a healthy way.

  • Talk to family, friends, or a therapist about your feelings. Join a support group for pet loss if it feels right for you.

  • Create a special place in your home or garden to honor your pet. You could make a photo album, scrapbook, or memory box with your dog's favorite toys, collar, or blanket.

  • Take care of yourself! Grief can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Take time to rest, eat well, and engage in activities that make you feel good.

  • Consider donating to an animal shelter or rescue organization in your dog’s name. It can be a meaningful way to honor their memory and help other animals in need.

  • Consider holding a memorial service or ritual to honor your dog's life and say goodbye. This could involve lighting a candle, reading a poem, or planting a tree in their memory.

Should I Let My Other Dog See My Dead Dog?

This is a commonly asked question, likely because as humans we have this concept of closure pushed upon us. For that reason, it can come instinctively to try and provide our dog with some understanding—after all, it’s not as though we can sit them down for a heart-to-heart chat.

Ultimately, some dogs may find it helpful to come to terms with the loss, while others may spiral into distress and confusion when exposed to that situation. If you feel conflicted about whether or not to show your dog your deceased dog’s body, it may be a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.

Cuddle Clones, Helping One Grieving Dog At A Time

Grieving dogs need patience, understanding, and all the love you have in your heart to make it through this difficult transition period. It’s not always easy to muster the strength for your best friend while you’re also navigating grief firsthand.

That’s where a Cuddle Clone can make all of the difference. They can provide comfort for grieving dogs who are missing their companion. Our high-quality replicas are made with attention to detail and are sure to bring a smile to your face every time you see them.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.

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