Dog Not Eating After Other Family Dog Died

My German Shepherd Riley, who is 4, lost his best friend Alfie 2 weeks ago. He had lived with Alfie his whole life. Since the loss of Alfie he is rarely eating anything and when he does, he ends up throwing it all back up. His normal diet is dry biscuits, however since then we have mixed his biscuits with mince (this is once a day or once every 2 days) to try and interest him in eating, with this he throws it back up. When the mince isn't down Riley just has his dry biscuits in his dish which he doesn't touch.

I understand his survival instincts are put into place when he's about to starve making him want to eat his dry food, he manages to keep this down. However he has no appetite at and has started to lose quite a bit of weight, as whatever Alfie did, Riley did. How can I get him interested in eating again on his own intentions. I have told my dad not to take him out on long walks whilst he isn't eating. Please help.

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February 26, 20190 found this helpful have my deepest condolences on the loss of Alfie.

Poor Riley. He sounds like he is depressed. Please check with his vet and see if it is warranted to get something for him (like an antidepressant or an appetite stimulant). This is so common and vets have really good tools to help the pup grieve (at least they do in Pittsburgh where I am.) The vet will also make sure nothing physical is going on just to be safe!

Be sure to take care of your grief also and seek help if you need it. Losing a pet is so hard. They take such a piece of your heart with them over the rainbow bridge. May Alfie's memory always be a blessing!

Prayers for Riley to come around. Give him time and post back what his vet suggests!

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February 26, 20190 found this helpful

Your dog is grieving. It is more important that he drinks. Perhaps the vet can give you something equivalent to Boost or Ensure for dogs.


This way the dog wont vomit and the caloric count will go up.

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February 26, 20190 found this helpful

I am so sorry to see that you lost your other baby. It seems that Riley has grieved himself to the point where he can't eat.

You will have to feed him small amounts of hot dogs, or chicken, at a time to help him learn to eat again.

I actually had a rescue dog, that was very underweight, and I had to actually cook him hamburger patties, very little ones, and then freeze them in the freezer. I called them cookies.

I would then feed him one of these 'cookies' many times a day. This worked for my rescue dog, because her tummy did not want to digest much at a time.

So feed your darling little bits of real meat, with real nutrition, lots of times a day, starting with little tiny bits.

The chicken or hot dogs would be easier to digest.


Another thing, have you actually talked to your baby about the other dog's passing, and mentioned the other dog by name? Tell your dog that it will be ok and that its friend passed away.

It is amazing, but animals can understand.

Blessings and prayers,



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February 27, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you all for your replies it means so much. we live in the Lake District, UK, when Alfie died riley came with us and waited outside with another family member. So we think he knew what happened as Alfie didnt come home with us like he went in. We have tried to explain to him about what has happened and told him that everything is okay.

As of eating, we were advised by the vets to give him very bland food. We mixed his biscuits with scrambled eggs and placed it in one of our dishes hoping he would eat it. He ate the lot except his biscuits. Last night he had the same meal in a human bowl and wouldnt eat it until I pretended to do so.

Additionally, our cousin came round with her new german shepherd pup yesterday, which allowed riley to feel as though he wasnt at the bottom of the pack.


Thank you once again and you can follow his Instagram at _smileyriley_1 for more updates of how he is coping.
Rileys hooman dan

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February 26, 20190 found this helpful

barring poor Riley isn't sick, and just mourning, the important thing is to keep him hydrated, give him lots of attention, talk to him a lot, and feed him small things, or you could make him soup.

there are some herbal products available to help pets cope with anxiety or other bad emotions:

a walk would be a good mood lifter so would actually be a good idea, just not a long one

also please make sure he is not sick. Throwing up sounds like more than just depression to me

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February 27, 20190 found this helpful

Check out these articles to get some helpful tips on helping Riley through the grieving process.


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March 24, 20190 found this helpful

I am so sorry for your loss. My dog went into mourning when his best friend, my cat, died. He wouldn't eat either. My vet advised me to cook chicken or beef & mix it with rice. I made small balls of these and hand feed him, one at a time several times a day. I agree with others, very important to be sure he's drinking water. Give him lots of lovin & try to coax him to eat one ball at a time. Good luck

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