How to Help Your Dog Deal with the Loss of Another Pet

Losing a pet may be tough for you, but if you have another dog in the house, it gets difficult for them to cope as well. You may not realize it, but dogs also grieve the loss of their companion. If you have just lost one of your dogs, you have to help your other dog deal with this challenging time.

Should You Get Another Dog?

You may be advised to get another dog as soon as you lose one just to fill the emptiness. Well, for starters, any new dog cannot take the place of the one you have lost. Also, you need to be ready to take up the new responsibility that too this soon. It may be the right choice for someone, but not for everyone. If you have another dog in your house, you also must understand that your dog may not feel comfortable with such sudden changes. You have to let your dog get used to losing its friend before you force it to make friends with another dog. Your dog must have been inseparable from the one that passed away, but that does not mean it can form a similar bond with the new dog. Hence, to help your dog take some time before you adopt another dog. 

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Also, you have to consider the breed of the dog and choose one that is friendly, like labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, or Labradoodle. Refer to the Australian labradoodle guide for more information regarding the breed. 

Understand the Signs

Not all dogs may grieve over the loss of another pet. All dogs react differently; hence, you need to observe them strictly to understand how to help them. Here are a few signs you need to monitor closely.

Behavioral Changes

Some dogs may change their personality entirely as they feel their role has changed in the house now. If they feel more responsible, then they will become alert around you. They may start barking more at passersby or act more confident. Others may become quiet or withdrawn. A few dogs may stop eating for a few days out of sadness. Any change from the usual routine needs to be noticed carefully.

Physical Symptoms

If your dog is suddenly losing weight due to loss of appetite, becoming ill again and again, or becoming lethargic, it can also indicate that they are depressed. 

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No Signs

It is possible that your dog does not show any signs of losing a companion. It may seem strange to you, but that does not mean it is not grieving. It may mean they are hiding it to self-protect. 

How Can You Help your Dog Cope-Up

It will take consistency to ensure your dog gets back to being the same happy fellow; hence, here are a few things you need to do for the dog to feel normal.

1. Stick to the Same Routine:

No matter how sad your dog is, you cannot let it sulk the entire day. You have to make them stick to their usual routine.

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Continue feeding them at the same time and walking them too. Sticking to the regular schedule will help them be a little normal and reduce their stress. This can also help them cope with grief sooner.

2. Try to Be Normal Around Your Dog

You may be grieving too, but letting your dog know that you are sad will only make them more stressed. Dogs can sense tension really quickly, which is why you have to be normal around them as much as you can. Follow your regular routine so that the dog feels relaxed. If you are coping with the loss well, your dog will also learn to do the same.

3. Do Not Make Abrupt Changes in Your Home

The loss of a pet is a significant change in the house. The dog may be trying to adjust to it already. If you do significant changes like moving homes, selling off things, or getting a new pet, that might be another blow to the dog. The dog needs to be ok with the loss of a companion first. It is already a significant change hence do not make any more changes for some time.

4. Provide the Dog with Enough Stimulation

The dog that passed away had a significant role in keeping your dog active as both played together. Now, as your dog may feel lonely, it may get lethargic. You have to avoid that by interacting more with the dog.

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Play with the dog several times a day so that it does not miss its companion much. Get them interactive toys to keep their minds active. The more mental stimulation they can get, it will tire them. Hence, engage more with the dog to help them get past this phase. Taking long walks and playing with your dog will help you cope as well. Staying physically active will help you improve your mood in such a difficult time. It can also help you boost your immune system and get fit, which could make you feel a bit better!

5. Ask Familiar Family Members to Visit

If your dog is close to your parents or siblings, this would be a great time to ask them to visit you. The dog would love to be around more family members. It would also mean higher engagement. This way, they would be occupied most day and feel excited to have many friends around.

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They would find it easier to cope, as it has found so many companions for some time.

6. Do Not Leave your Dog Alone

When your dog lived with another dog, it was never alone. Hence, it is better not to leave the dog alone for a few days until they seem back to normal. Call a dog sitter or leave your dog with a friend your dog is comfortable with if you have to go out. The dog should always have some companion for the next few months. When you feel your dog is ready to be left alone at home for a few hours, start by leaving it alone for a small duration and increase it gradually.

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The Bottom Line

Coping up takes some time, for sure, which is why you have to give the dog some time. Even you are dealing with the same sadness and cannot come over it in a day. Give the dog the same amount of time to get over the sorrow and turn a new leaf in its life.

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