Do Dogs Get Depressed When Another Dog Dies?

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As highly social animals, dogs form bonds with the animals and humans they spend their lives with. When another animal member of a dog's household family passes away, your buddy may experience mourning and depression due to the loss.


Recognizing depression in your dog

Since dogs cannot speak to us, it's up to us to be in tune with them. This will assist in noticing any changes that your dog may be going through. If your dog is depressed, he may lose the sparkle in his eye and his eagerness to play. He may lounge around the house, disinterested in almost everything including food.


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Losing a fellow animal companion

Like people, dogs deal with grief in different ways and may react differently to the loss of a furry family member. Your dog may wait patiently at the door, thinking his buddy will be coming in from a walk soon. He may wander around the house looking for his friend. The first week to two weeks will be an adjustment period for your dog, as he learns to adapt to life without his former companion. Barbara King, professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary, tells U.S. News & World Report that a dog who is looking around the house for his fellow friend is displaying a clear sign of missing his friend. She states that dogs do, indeed, experience real and painful grieving.



Cesar's Way: A Dog in Mourning: Helping Our Pets Cope With Loss
Veterinary Partner: Grieving: When Your Dog Mourns the Loss of Another Dog
Los Angeles Times: Ask a vet: How do I tell if my pet is depressed?
US News: Dogs May Mourn as Deeply as Humans Do


By Pamela Miller

About the Author
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.


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