Human folk aren’t the only ones that grieve when a pet dies. We survivin’ pets mourn, too. It may even be harder on us to grow used to the absence of our friend. They were probably a friend we were with all day while you human folk might be at work or doin’ other things. But, you can help us while we mourn by being patient, understand, and helpin’ us understand as much as possible. Here are a few things you can do in helping pets deal with grief.
Your understandin’ and patience could mean allowin’ us to sleep more or understandin’ if we are crankier than usual. We may act depressed or grumpy as we grieve. And, we don’t always understand what happened, so we need your help with that, too.
If our friend was terminally ill and you decided to go to the vet to end the sufferin’, we will could miss the natural pack interaction with our friend after death. We will only know he or she left and never came back. That’s really confusin’. It would help us a lot if you find a way to let us know what happened.
Bringin’ us with you to the vet to sniff our pal that passed might work. Smell is everything to us dogs. Or, you might bring our friend home for burial. I wasn’t here yet, but that’s what my Lady did for Sallie and Maggie when her Sadie girl passed away. My Lady brought Sadie home for burial and they got to spend some time with her. Sallie had grown up with Sadie and took it purdy hard. But, at least Sallie got a chance to spend some time with her friend. Us pets would really appreciate a chance to sniff, think and say our goodbyes. If none of that can happen, then let us smell a blanket used when our friend died.
If you find our friend has died at home, we will probably know before you do and be very distraught, in need of soothin’. Hug and pet us. Let us watch what happens. As you know, we are smart and will understand more than you think.
After our friend is gone, be sure to give us extra love and attention. More pettin’. More talkin’. More car rides with the windows open. If we refuse to eat, we may need some extra treats. The drive thru is perfect for a small treat, not to mention the fun of stuffin’ our muzzle out the window.
One other thing besides love, attention, and treats that is important is to watch that our grief doesn’t lead us to health problems. I know a dog that was so upset when his alpha dog died that he stopped eatin’ and got dehydrated. Be sure we stay hydrated and nourished as we mope and grieve. And you won’t believe I’m saying this, but don’t be afraid to take us to the vet for an exam. We are stressed and will not want to admit if we need help from our doctor human.
It is painful to lose a member of the pack, and we all grieve. But if we share our love and memories, we can heal our pack together.