When a dog loses a two- or four-legged companion, they mourn and respond to the changes in their life. Dogs change their behavior when they are grieving, much like humans do: they can become depressed and listless. You may have a decreased appetite and refuse to gamble.
It is not uncommon for dogs to mourn the loss of a person they have bonded with who is no longer around. While they may not understand the full extent of human absence, dogs do understand the emotional feeling of missing someone who is no longer a part of their daily lives.
Some dogs can overcome their grief in as little as 2 months, while others may take 10 years or more. Some dogs even need medication or behavioral training to help manage symptoms of grief and depression. The most important thing is to love them no matter how long it takes.
Although it is not known how much dogs understand about death, it is clear that dogs can become extremely depressed after a companion dies. Just like people who have lost a loved one, many dogs lose their appetite, lose interest in their favorite activities, become lethargic, or sleep excessively.
In fact, dogs sense death, warn people of approaching death, and have even sniffed out the dead for centuries. In fact, some dogs are trained specifically as hospice dogs to sit and comfort the dying.
Dogs change their behavior when they are grieving, much like humans do: They may become depressed and listless. They may have a decreased appetite and refuse to play. You may be sleeping more than usual and moving more slowly and sulking around.
In the acute phase of death or immediately following a loss, it is common to cry uncontrollably and intensely. This is because our bodies are processing the shock of loss and working hard to reduce the overwhelming emotional experience we are going through.
According to Dr. Brian Hare, a canine cognition specialist, our dogs know we love them. Dogs and humans have the ability to form a special neural connection. This compound is the same human oxytocin binding pathway used by parents and babies.