Losing one of your dogs is never easy. It turns out, it’s just as devastating to your surviving dog. A study has come from the University of Milan that involved over 400 households that had two dogs. The researchers found that once a companion dog had passed, there were clear signs of grief from the remaining dog.
The vast majority of the study participants observed new negative behavior from their surviving dogs. The symptoms of grief that their humans noticed ranged. The biggest sign of grief was increased attention seeking by the dog. Other symptoms included eating less, sleeping more, playing less and being less active, increased fear, and more barking or whining.
The study found it didn’t seem to matter how long the two dogs lived together, there was still just as much grief once one had passed. About a third of the participants of the study said the grieving seemed to last between two to six months. A quarter of them said the grieving lasted longer than six months.
There are some things you can do for your grieving dog. The researchers surmise that a large part of this grief comes from a loss of security and safety your dog had with their companion. Making it known to your dog that they are still safe, supported, and protected will help them get through the loss.
Originally reported by the Independent.