Do Dogs Feel Sad? How to Support Your Dog During Their Grief 🐢❤️

The straightforward answer is yes. However, mourning is never easy.

When we lose a relative, friend, or pet, we go through five stages of mourning, according to research. Denial/isolation, rage, sadness, bargaining, and acceptance are some of them. We don't go through them in any particular sequence, and we don't all go through all five stages. Each of us handles loss differently. Our pets feel the same way.

Nothing is more heartbreaking for those of us who have witnessed our dog grieve from the loss of a loving human or canine partner. We can't explain what happened or why their person or companion pet will never return. They are perplexed. Their sentiments of alienation and abandonment are palpable. The only thing they remember is that the object of their anguish was here one minute and gone the next.


They commonly express their abandonment sentiments through one, all, or any combination of denial/isolation, rage, despair, and, finally, acceptance.

Most of the time, it is a shared loss. Yet, sometimes we are so preoccupied with our own sadness that we fail to notice that our pet is also bereaved. As their caregivers, we must recognize and assist them in passing through those stages as gently as possible.

We can't sit down and share our sentiments and recollections with them over a cup of coffee since they can't speak vocally. Nonetheless, there are things we can do to assist people heal, not only provide support and compassion.

Many dog owners have discovered that assisting their pet is also therapeutic for them.

The intensity of the sadness is frequently related to the strength and duration of the connection. Some people may grieve indefinitely. Most people are fairly resilient and, given enough time, gradually learn to accept their loss. This combined bereavement and healing process is typically helpful to both caregiver and pet. It frequently strengthens the friendship and bond.

Dogs use their behaviour to convey their sadness and stress. Consider their doubts regarding their sentiments of trust, reliance, loyalty, identity, and connection. It is very usual for them to affect their conduct.

The following are the stages of sorrow to look out for and tips to assist your dog heal as he or she moves through them:

- Denial/Isolation.

You could discover your pet standing at the entrance, eagerly waiting. Or refusing to leave a "particular" chair or the individual's bed. Some may seek refuge beneath a bed or refuse to leave a place. Dogs who find solace in their crates may withdraw within them. If they have lost a companion dog, they may prefer to sleep in their kennel or bed. What are you going to do?

They may habitually respond joyfully to familiar sounds like a vehicle door slamming, a voice on an answering machine, or a key in the door, only to turn around and escape to their refuge. Respect their need to wait or their wish to be alone for a suitable period of time.


It may take a few days or weeks for the majority of dogs, or a month or so for others, but most finally recognize who or thing they are waiting for is not coming to them. Consider altering the voice on the answering machine if they respond to it rather than leaving it as a continual reminder.

Coax, rather than forcing, them to come out and interact. Share a pleasurable experience, such as a walk or a fetch game. Cuddle. You may both benefit from some touch therapy.

Speak with them. Your voice has a soothing tone to it. When you observe them struggling to burst through the wall they've built, lavish them with praise. Tell them how pleased you are to be together.

Some people will refuse to eat when they are grieving. Bring the meal to them instead. Keep it in its normal location. Encourage them to eat, but do not compel them to do so. You may try to lure them by including something unique in it. They usually eat when they are hungry enough. Even if no one is there, you will notice that the food has vanished.

Staying hydrated is more essential than eating. Put a basin of water where they've gone. Set it far enough away so they must make an effort to reach it.

Do not avoid or overuse the area from which they have withdrawn. Carry on as usual.

- Anger.

Some canines communicate their sadness by acting inappropriately. They may bark, whine, groan, or weep ceaselessly. Or chew stuff despite not having chewed anything in years. Others may have to relieve themselves inside the house. They may believe that doing so will bring their person back, if only to be disciplined or chastised. They may also express their rage by snarling or snapping unusually.

Bottom line: Give your dog a decent amount of time to mourn. As their primary caregiver, it is your responsibility to continue to provide new and exciting opportunities for fun, adventures, training, socializing, and bonding in order to restore their enthusiasm for life. We only have them for a short while. We want them to be as content as possible.