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Helping Survivor Pets with Dog Loss

Helping survivor pets with dog loss is important in any multi-pet family. While it is obvious that human family members will grieve the loss of the dog, it may not be as apparent that other pets will, as well. Part of the family’s grieving process must include helping survivor pets with dog loss.

Just as each person grieves in his own way and his own time, so too do survivor pets. It is normal for animals to form bonds with one another, whether it is multiple dogs in the same home or pets of different species. Many people who have both dogs and cats have reported that the cats clearly grieve the loss of the dogs, and vice versa. This is true of other species of pets as well.

It is not uncommon for survivor pets to display a loss of appetite, disrupted sleep patterns (including sleeping much more or much less than usual), or become clingy. Some survivor pets may show some sort of regression of behavior, others may simply display poor behavior. In each case, it is likely an attempt to gain attention as a way of coping with this unusual new situation in which a fellow pet is no longer present. Although you may initially be annoyed or dismayed at this behavior, try to be patient and recognize it as part of your pet’s grieving process. Spending extra time with your other pets and giving them added attention is an important part of helping survivor pets with dog loss.

Some pet owners consider getting another dog quickly as a way of helping survivor pets with dog loss. Whether or not this is right in your situation depends on a variety of factors. Keep in mind that you need to be sure that you and all other human family members are ready for a new pet. A new dog will never be a replacement for the dog you have lost; the new pet starts a new chapter in your lives. How soon the survivor pets will accept a new dog can vary greatly. As with humans, the survivor pets need time to adjust to the loss of the dog. Introducing a new dog too soon can lead to the dog not being well-accepted by the survivor pets. Remember that, as with the introduction of any new pet, this will take time and patience. Do not thrust the animals together too quickly; introduce them slowly and gradually in a safe and careful manner.

The best ways of helping survivor pets with dog loss will vary. It is important to recognize that many animals do grieve in their own ways, and that survivor pets will feel loss, too. Helping survivor pets with dog loss usually starts with lavishing a bit more attention on these pets and helping them to feel comforted. You will likely find this helps your grieving process as well.

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