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Do Pets Grieve?

Woman embraces puppy

Often times, when there is a death in the family, pet owners may notice some changes in the pets that are left behind. Pets observe every change in a household and are bound to notice the absence of a companion. Our furry friends often form strong attachments to one another, and the survivor of such a bond may seem to grieve for her companion.

She may become clingy, aloof, lethargic, or lose her appetite. It is these outward signs that allow us to believe that pets grieve for their friends.

If your pet shows signs of grief from the loss of a family member (furry or human), provide her with more attention and affection. Engage her in a favorite activity. If she enjoys human company, invite friends she likes over to spend time with her. Hide toys or treats for her to find throughout the day.

You are both enduring a great loss and the grieving process is normal and natural.

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