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Can dogs grieve other dogs?

Can dogs grieve other dogs?

All humans have at some point experienced the emotion of grief. But as a pet owner have you ever thought whether your dog can grieve other dogs?

We clearly can’t ask our four-legged best friend if he is grieving, however we can observe them – and most evidence seems to indicate that, yes, dogs experience grief in some form.

Not only do they grieve the loss of their owners, but their canine friends as well.

According to an article by Barbara J. King in the May 2017 edition of Scientific American revealed how dogs experience behavioral changes after the death of a fellow pup.

“We can’t understand how an animal understands or thinks about death,” says King. “We can only evaluate what we can see, and when someone in a dog’s life dies, dogs will react with behavioral changes.” King said.

And this also includes another dog.

“After a dog dies, another dog in the household may show social withdrawal,” says King. “He may fail to eat or drink, he may search for his lost companion, or exhibit vocalizations that show he is stressed.”

Signs of grief

After your dog realizes that his friend is no longer there he/she might show one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Withdrawal from people and other pets.
  • A lack of appetite.
  • Lethargic behavior and sleeping more than usual.
  • Unusually aggressive or destructive behaviors.
  • Inappropriate elimination within the home.
  • Calling out or vocalizing in an unusual way for the dog who has passed away.
  • Searching for the companion dog within the home and other places frequented by the other dog.
  • Becoming very clingy to the owner and following the owner around.