Dogs in Mourn­ing

The Playa Times Riviera Maya's English Newspaper - - Animal Welfare - BY NASH

We know that dogs are very emo­tional but did you know that they mourn death and loss sim­i­lar to the way hu­mans do? We have all seen the heart­break­ing pho­tos of ser­vice dogs wait­ing at the grave of their beloved hu­man. Then there is the story about Hachiko, a dog that waited for nine years at the train sta­tion for his hu­man to re­turn from work.

Some signs your dog may be de­pressed are, lack of in­ter­est, loss of ap­petite, and sleep­ing a lot. They may also have a dif­fer­ent de­meanor, with their head down low, not wag­ging their tail and a cer­tain look in the eyes.

Some dogs will howl or cry as well. Dogs are in­cred­i­bly loyal and ded­i­cated. Imag­ine the loss they may be feel­ing. If you no­tice th­ese signs, have a vet­eri­nar­ian check him out to be sure it is not a med­i­cal is­sue.

If your dog is ex­tremely de­pressed, try to add more play time to your dog’s day, ex­er­cise will raise the sero­tonin lev­els. It is im­por­tant to be pa­tient and lov­ing with your dog dur­ing this time, but be care­ful not to cre­ate a spoiled dog. For in­stance, your dog stops eat­ing, so you give him all kinds of new fab­u­lous foods to get him to eat, chances are he will not go back to his reg­u­lar dog food. Some dogs show re­morse through bad be­hav­ior, do not ac­cept this be­hav­ior, he still needs to know it is not ac­cept­able.

When a dog is mourn­ing the loss of an­other ca­nine fam­ily mem­ber, it is not al­ways best to re­place the loss with a new dog right away. Let your dog get over the loss first. This ad­vice goes for hu­mans griev­ing the loss of a dog as well. Do not rush to re­place your beloved dog, vol­un­teer at a dog shel­ter or fos­ter a dog un­til you are ready to fully ac­cept a new dog in your life. A few weeks or even a cou­ple months can be healthy griev­ing time, but it is im­por­tant to get the dog back into his usual rou­tine.

It is hard to imag­ine the con­fu­sion a dog feels that sud­denly finds him­self in a shel­ter, whether from the death of his hu­man or other cir­cum­stances. Th­ese dogs are deal­ing with the stress and anx­i­ety of not know­ing what is go­ing on. It is very im­por­tant to have your dog in­cluded in your will and ap­point a guardian to en­sure your best friend is prop­erly cared for if the un­think­able hap­pens.

Pug in mourn­ing

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Photo: www.madanka­math.com

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