Dogs have a hard time with loss too

A new study reveals that while the loss of a pet can have a profound impact on its owners, it can also affect other pets in the house.

The University of Milan study, released Thursday, found that dogs display behavioral changes similar to humans after losing canine companions. “Overall, dogs were reported to play and eat less, sleep more and seek more for owners’ attention,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Federica Pirrone. She notes the level of grief displayed by dogs isn’t dependent on their attachment to their owners, suggesting they’re not merely projecting their owners’ grief.  In other words, they’re not just sad because we’re sad.

I’ve experienced this first hand.  When one of our dachshunds, who was the mother of the other two, passed away a few years ago, they were clearly a little lost, especially the boy.  I’m think it was pretty important for them that we remained constant in their lives.  I guess that’s not surprising.  Pets obviously have emotions just like humans, and without language, emotional support is probably even more important.

So be there for your dog.