Do dogs grieve when their mate dies?

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Although it is not known how much dogs understand about death, it's clear that dogs can become extremely depressed after a companion dies.

Just like humans who have lost a loved one, many dogs lose their appetite, no longer have interest in their favorite activities, become lethargic or sleep excessively.


When one dog dies, owners will often notice some changes in the pets that are left behind.

They may become aloof or lethargic.

Some may stop eating or become clingy.

Based on these outward signs, it appears that dogs do grieve when their canine companion dies.


Symptoms, like loss of appetite and lethargy, are associated with dog depression, but they also can indicate postpartum complications, like an infected uterus or infected mammary glands.

If your dog appears to be depressed after the death of a newborn puppy, don't assume that she's grieving.


If your dog has lost a puppy, even a newborn, you should monitor her behavior for signs of grief or depression.

Your dog's sadness may manifest in different ways, like a lack of interest in food and water, increased sleep and general lethargy.


The first few days after a loved one dies are the most difficult for humans and also for dogs.

Like humans, not all dogs grieve the same way.

As one might expect, after the death of their pet parent, dogs may withdraw and refuse to eat.

Consistency is key to successfully rehoming a dog.


Symbolic or Sentimental Pet Loss Gifts

  • Give them a keychain…
  • Give them a small statue or figurine that looks like the pet they lost.
  • Give them an engraved wind chime…
  • Find a stuffed animal that resembles their beloved animal.
  • Give them a piece of jewelry that represents their pet.

It's not unusual for dogs to grieve the loss of a person they've bonded with who is no longer present.

In order to decipher a dog's emotional state after losing a loved one, it's important to keep an eye out for certain signs, as they can affect a dog's health.


Healthy stud dogs may remain sexually active and fertile to old age.

Adult males are able to mate at any time.

Bitches have their first estrus (also know as season or heat) after six months of age, although it can occur as late as 18 months to two years of age.

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