Pets, like humans, can grieve the loss of a loved one. Their understanding of death may not be clear, but they show behavioral changes indicating grief.
Pets may show signs of grief like seeking less affection, increased sleep, decreased eating, and increased vocalizations.
Grief in pets varies individually, lasting from weeks to months. In some closely bonded wild animal communities, grief has been observed to last for years.
Pets can sense our emotions and may exhibit similar physical stress responses. Your pet may also be affected when you are grieving a loss.
Maintain daily routines, offer extra attention, try calming aids, and provide new toys. If your pet shows severe behavioral changes, consult a vet or behaviorist.
Some experts suggest allowing pets to witness the euthanasia process of their companion. This may help them understand the finality of the situation.
The decision to bring a new pet after a loss depends on your feelings and the temperament of your other pets. Too soon may cause increased stress and anxiety.