Helping your best friend grieve

Helping your best friend grieve

Nothing is sadder than a broken hearted pitty butt. Amara recently lost a human friend who she had grown extremely close to over the last year; her baby humans grandmother. It was a sudden unexpected passing for everyone involved. Like humans dogs grieve in their own way, and that grief can look remarkably different from person to person and pet to pet. Dogs live in the moment, processing their world by reading the body language, emotions, and behaviors of everyone in their world. This can make their grieving process more difficult, as their sense of loss is profoundly emotional. 

The Signs of Pet Grief can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Accidents in the home in a potty trained dog
  • Vocalizations
  • Personality and Behavior Changes

Always schedule a vet check up to make sure any new changes with your pet are not a symptom of a medical issue.

How can you Help Your Pet Navigate their Grief:

  1. Recognize that your pet is grieving
  2. Look after their physical needs
  3. Bonding activities that your dog enjoys
  4. Stick to their schedule 
  5. Don't be a helicopter friend
  6. Don't try to replace their person
  7. Help your dog make new memories
  8. Be patient
  9. Provide entertainment while your gone
  10. Reinforce good behavior and ignore inappropriate behavior
  11. Medical Therapy

 With time and lots of love and attention Amara is back to her normal happy pitty self; but like her humans some days are rougher than others. 


Sarah Stauffer, Certified Dog Training and Behavior Specialist with Buddy's Place Canine Behavior

Best Friend Gone Project



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