The Loss Of A Canine Companion Is Heartbreaking To Dogs

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : March 1, 2022

Do you own a dog? Yes, I know how it feels, something that cannot be transcribed into words. And the loss of anyone whom we loved is more painful and this pain impacts the nature of a human starting from sleep and the appetite. But research recently stated that the same pattern is observed among the canines when they lose any canine companion.

The Loss Of A Canine Companion Is Heartbreaking To Dogs

According to the researchers, dogs are highly emotional animals who have a solid and emotional bond with the family members, which clearly means that the loss of any of the family members will affect the emotional fellow in the house, i.e. the dog and some efforts should be done to comfort the dog so that he can overcome the pain.

The Loss Of A Canine Companion Is Heartbreaking To Dogs

A survey was done, in which around 426 adults who are dog owners participated in a “mourning dog questionnaire” to investigate whether do dogs grieve when their canine companion passes.

All of the participants have a common factor: they lost one of the dogs and the other dog alive. The questionnaire focuses on how the owners and the alive canine behavior patterns are affected after losing one of the canine companions.

The results showed that 86% of the dog owners experienced changes in behavioral patterns after the death of the other dog. The reports showed that the dogs play less, eat less, sleep more and try to have more attention from the owner. Many explanations were given to prove the fact that it may be the chances that the dogs shared their food, toy, sleeping area, and other stuff and this behavior is affecting the surviving dog.

The result also shows behavioral changes were stronger in the dogs as compared to the humans. As the dogs share a friendly and stronger bond with the deceased dog. This pattern shows that the surviving dog lost an attachment with which he felt security and comfort.

One of the professors said that it is essential first to understand what a dog feels when the dog died and he lost a companion, but the study is limited in its own areas which may include that the owners may be mistaken to notice the changes in the behavior of the surviving dog, which may affect the answers of the questionnaire and can differ the conclusion of the study.

For example, dog lovers sometimes find those big, mournful eyes gazing at them to be heart-melting. It is difficult to tell whether they are mourning as our friends cannot tell us what they are feeling.

The research team found that the behavior changes went up the more an owner grieved. The level of fear in the surviving dog is related to the owner’s suffering. This means the changes in the surviving dog’s behavior are due to the owner’s grief at losing his dog friend.

The question arises about how to comfort the surviving dog so his behavior can normalize. The owners are required to spend more time with the surviving dog, try to become more affectionate if your dog likes to socialize take him to new friends where he can interact with them and can find a new companion, make sure entertainment is available when you are not present, consider medical therapy, do not rush to find a replacement.

Time is the best medicine that will heal the pain and grief of a lost friend. With time pain will reduce and the beautiful memories will remain forever. This will evolve a new connection between the surviving dog and the owner.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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