Pet Grief: How do I know if pets are sad?
Pet grief is something that can easily be overlooked in the chaos of a loss. Bradbury Memorial Center is very mindful of this and can help with pet grief by reminding our families who have pets that they, too, may need some extra love and care during the time of a loss. Especially companion animals who are very specific to a deceased loved one.
Canine expert Cesar Milan’s website www.cesarsway.com states that no two dogs are alike when displaying grief. Furthermore, it states that when a socially bonded dog loses its human companion, the dog’s physical signs of depression can show at a greater degree. The best thing to do to help is to be patient, understanding, and loving as the dog recovers.
Pet signs of grief
- Loss of appetite
- Lowered water intake
- Sluggish response to human or other pet interactions
- Loss of interest in play or physical activity
- An occasional mournful howl
What to do
- Give extra love and affection
- Maintain a normal feeding schedule
- Stick to a regular exercise routine
- Increase playtime
- Be patient
When it comes to cats, other web sources suggest simply talking to grieving cats or even regularly playing music for them helps ease their sadness.
If a pet shows an increase of grief symptoms over many weeks or months, be sure to schedule a time for the pet to visit its veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out any physical illness the pet may be experiencing.