A pet may show signs of depression or grief when a beloved pet companion dies. Many pets stop eating while others whine or cry searching for their beloved friend. Even animals who generally didn’t get along can feel a terrible sense of loss.
Each pet responds differently, sometimes changing personality. They may become fearful especially when the pet that died was their source of confidence. Their sense of safety and companionship may be lost along with their self-confidence. In other instances, when a dominant pet dies, the remaining pet may become more outgoing.
Signs your pet may be grieving are:
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargic or no interest in toys
- Vocalizations – yowling, crying or whining
- Changes in normal sleeping patterns
- Inappropriate potty habits
- Destructive behavior or aggression/dominance
How to help your pets heal
Allow other pets to inspect the body before your pet is buried. They are able to sense that the life force is gone. This allows them to say their final goodbyes and gives them closure so they know what happened and they won’t wonder why their best friend suddenly disappeared.
Help your pet move through their grief and into healing by:
– Spending more time with them and giving them extra love;
– Bringing them a new toy, cat tree, or a new cushy bed;
– Engaging them in physical activities to help them release pent up emotions;
– Making sure they are not left alone after the loss of a companion pet;
– Consulting a trusted veterinarian or behaviorist if their condition deteriorates.
-adapted from various source