All Things Dog

Help for Your Grieving Dog

When your dog loses the companionship of another dog, it can be heartbreaking. Although no one truly knows how much dogs understand about death, it's clear that they can experience loss very deeply and often become depressed. Just like humans who have lost a loved one, many dogs stop eating, lose interest in their favorite activities, and become lethargic or sleep excessively.

When a dog experiences the loss of a dog companion, he is also mourning the loss a fellow pack member and that dog's previous pack position. Your dog might now be a leader without a follower, or a follower without a leader. That's why it's important for you to help your dog find a healthy, new position in your home.

These simple guidelines can ease the pain after a loss

Distract him. Take him for walks, bring him on car trips or invite friends—canine and human—over to visit. Also, consider buying dog puzzle toys specially designed for mental stimulation. Spend 15 minutes brushing him or giving him a massage. He'll start looking forward to the new routine.

Teach him new tricks. Even though your dog is older, he can keep learning for his entire life. Set aside a few minutes each day to teach him a new trick—such as fetching certain objects. Or introduce him to a new activity like catching a flying disc or agility, if he’s still physically active. The sense of accomplishment that training brings can give your pooch a new lease on life.

Reward good behavior—ignore bad behavior. During your dog's grieving process, don't give him any attention when he's excessively barking, whining, or howling—it will only reinforce this negative behavior. Praise him when he is sitting or resting quietly.

Don’t rush into getting a new dog. Older dogs often don't like changes in their environment, and adjusting to a new pet can add stress at an already stressful time. It's important to allow your dog the time to adjust to life without his companion—you may find he actually thrives on his own.

Be patient. The old saying "time heals all wounds" applies to your dog, too. Don't worry if your dog doesn't immediately respond to new activities or extra attention. Just be patient and he'll come around eventually. And try to be upbeat and positive—because if you are, he’s more likely to feel that way, too.

If you are worried about your dog's behavior, speak to your veterinarian. He or she may suggest medication to help ease your dog's anxiety. In the meantime, attention, affection, and activity are the best medicine you can provide.

Recommended For You

Not on Facebook? You can register by clicking below.

Sign up on this site
We just need a little information.
All fields required.
FIRST NAME
PassedFailed
LAST NAME
PassedFailed
EMAIL
PassedFailed
A confirmation e-mail will be sent to
the address you provide here.
PASSWORD
PassedFailed
password must contain between 6 - 10
characters, no spaces.
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
This will help us provide you with information
that's specific to your area.
Yes, I'd like to receive updates and special offers from PEDIGREE® Brand. You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Check if you'd like to give permission for future special offers and additional useful information from Mars, Incorporated. (We will collect the information you've entered here, store and process it in the U.S.) You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Go to last step >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
Thanks for the information. This is the final step.
To get personlized special offers and alerts, enter your
information below:
EMAIL
PassedFailed
STREET ADDRESS
PassedFailed
CITY
PassedFailed
STATE
PassedFailed
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
Get Special Offers and Updates on Your Mobile Phone
This is the convenient way to get the latest info when you're on the go.
-
-
PassedFailed
Providing your mobile phone number is optional. Msg & Data Rates May Apply
Submit >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
All information will be sent to the mobile phone number you provided:
MOBILE PHONE #
-
-
PassedFailed
You can also sign up by sending a text: PEDIGREE to 97979

Msg & data rates may apply. You will receive up to 4 text messages per month. For HELP, please text HELP to 97979. You must be the account holder or have the authorization of the account holder to request this text service.

This text service works on on Alltel, Appalachian Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost, Cellcom, Cellular One, Cellular One of East Central Illinois, Cellular South, Centennial Wireless, Cincinnati Bell, Immix Wireless, Nextel, Revol Wireless, Sprint, Unicel, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and West Central Wireless. This is a subscription service. You can cancel your subscription at any time by texting a STOP to 97979. Terms & Conditions apply. For support, call 1-888-782-2180.
PLEASE ENTER THE CODE DISPLAYED TO VERIFY YOUR REQUEST:
Terms: I have read & agree to the Terms & Conditions.Failed
Submit >
View our Privacy Policy.
Now that you're registered, you can subscribe to our free e-newsletters. There's one for every stage of your dogs life.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter > The Feed E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Look to receive your coupon by mail within the next 10 - 15 days. We hope you enjoy our best Dry Food ever.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter >
Dog Knows E-Newsletter > Healthy Living E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Or log in to the PEDIGREE® website using the fields below
EMAIL
PASSWORD
Having trouble with your password?
Click Here
Forgot your password?
No problem. If you originally registered on our website, just enter your information below and we'll e-mail your password.
EMAIL
Password sent
Your password has been sent to the e-mail address you provided.
We're always happy to be of assistance.
Close x