Helping a Grieving Dog

A sad dog lying on a carpeted floor.
Dogs have strong feelings and can experience grief when losing another pet or person in the family. This will pass over time but serious depression or anxiety should be cause for a vet visit.

December 16, 2020

I actually had two dogs, a Golden Retriever (female) and German Shepherd (male). They actually really get along well, play together, share foods, sleep together and explored places together with our neighbor's dog. My female dog suddenly got really ill and died. After that, my male dog changed. He used to eat a lot, being playful and energetic which is now completely opposite. He became timid, he sleeps a lot, eat less and doesn't want to play with other dog like he used to do.

I actually don't what should I do to bring him back to his original state. I've tried playing with him but he's not really interested. I tried taking him out for a walk 3-4 times a week and make him associate with other dogs sometimes but it doesn't seem to work. Can anyone give me advice on what should I do?


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December 16, 20201 found this helpful
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The process could take several weeks or even a couple months. It sounds like you're doing the right things: comfort, stimulation, etc. You might try letting the dog sleep or nap with you too.


Be sure to keep them on a routine for play, feeding, and exercise. With a little luck they will soon turn a corner.

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December 17, 20200 found this helpful
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They are very much like humans and grieve.

My first thought is always have the vet check him out because he may have a physical issue. If he gets a clean bill of health, you may want to talk to the vet about a medical treatment (pheromones or anti depressants) or just let it work the grief through.

It is so hard. When we lost our older dog, our younger one moped for about 1 minute and then was fine. Others mope for months.

Prayers for your pup and for you. May your girl pup's memory always be a blessing!

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December 24, 20200 found this helpful
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I'm sorry for your loss, he may recover he may not. When our dog passed her bestie was depressed and we found him one morning on her side of the dog house. He had passed in the night. He never went in her side until that night. Our dogs were both over 13 yrs old so it wasn't too shocking.


But I would suggest getting another dog or puppy to snap him out of it. It may seem soon but they get lonely to. A puppy would not shy away as much and try to get him to play. I hope it all works out for you.

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March 12, 2013

This is a page about a dog not eating after other family dog died. Pets can also experience a sense of loss when another pet dies.

sad dog

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December 19, 2019

Dogs can have strong emotional responses to the death of another pet or one of their people. Sometimes this grief can result in a well trained dog beginning to poop and/or pee inside.


Read on for some helpful suggestions to assist your pet in moving through their grief.

A sad dog lying down.

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