Do dogs grieve for their loved ones? Most people agree that they do. Dogs are very loyal and loving, and they grow attached to their human family members. There are many photos, videos, and stories of dogs refusing to leave their sick owner’s side while they are in the hospital or leave their graves when they have passed away.
In some cases, death can be just as confusing and difficult for dogs as it is for humans to process.
They don’t know what to do when their owner is gone. They just stick around, hoping they will come back to them.
One video posted by Sarah and the Wolves on YouTube shows a wolfdog lying on top of a grave. It is the grave of his owner’s grandmother. The dog was close to her and clearly misses her now that she has passed away.
The owner explains in the video that the dog is named Wiley and that he serves as a therapy animal for war veterans.
He is very sympathetic toward humans, which may explain why he is taking this woman’s death so hard.
A lot of people viewed and commented on the video, and many of them believe that the dog is indeed grieving. One viewer said:
“I believe your wolf is grieving. Once science advances enough for humans to understand wolves and dogs better, I believe that it will prove dogs and wolves have the same complex emotions and bonds that humans have.”
After getting some negative feedback from some viewers, Sarah updated the video description to say:
“I may be anthropomorphizing his actions, but it’s how I’m choosing to deal with loss, so deal with it.”
According to Daily Puppy, it is not uncommon for dogs to grieve the death of a loved one.
The site offered some information about the signs of a mourning in a dog.
“The signs of a mourning dog can range from subtle differences in mood to outright depression. After losing a guardian, dogs may eat less, drink less and even voice their sadness with howls and whining cries. Some dogs will stop their typical playful behavior and display indications of fatigue and sleep more than usual. Negative body language will also betray the animal’s feelings as he moves more slowly and deliberately and shows less enthusiasm than before. Some dogs may even begin to look or camp out in places where their guardian spent a lot of time when living.”
While it is best to let dogs grieve however they choose, there are a few things that can be done to help make the process easier for them.
Just like people, dogs need to know that it’s OK to grieve but also that things will continue to go on as normal after a while. The Daily Puppy post added:
“In most cases, the dog will recover on his own if allowed the time necessary to overcome his loss. Do not change how you treat the dog. Instead, reinforce the status quo so he sees that things are continuing as normal and sadness is not going to take over. To help the process along, involve the animal in more physical activity than normal so he is challenged to move on, and his brain is forced to release the serotonin necessary to normal function.”
This dog clearly had a close relationship with the woman who passed away and misses her.
If is unclear if dogs understand what death really means, but they can understand other complex things in life. They bond with humans and are loyal to them. It makes sense that they would grieve over the death of their family members.
We may never know what the dog is feeling in this video below.
What we do know is that dogs are amazing pets and they are capable of giving back as much love as we give them. Hopefully, this poor dog finds some comfort and peace soon.
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