Losing a beloved pet is hard on everyone. This doesn’t only include friends and family, but other pets you have in your family. When closely bonded pets lose their companion, the remaining animal can display similar signs of grief to humans including:
- Loss of appetite
- The need for extra attention
- Change in sleep
- Lack of interest in normal activities such as playing
- Searching for their friend
Helping Your Pet Deal with Loss
Monitor your pet closely
First and foremost, you should keep a close eye on your pet. The grieving process in animals isn’t as well understood as it in humans and this means it is vital you pick up on any signs of distress such as changes in sleeping patterns or lack of eating/drinking.
If you are worried about your pet’s health, make sure you make an appointment with your local vet.
Keep your routine as normal as possible
Our pets are creatures of habit. Keeping their routine as normal as possible can help to avoid the stress of change and disruption. If you can, try to keep feeding, grooming, walks, playtime and grooming to their normal times to maintain a consistent schedule for your pet.
Don’t introduce a new companion too quickly
It can be tempting to introduce a new pet into your family to boost everyone’s spirits. However, dealing with loss is a personal process for you and your pet. This means that whilst you may be ready for a new family member, others may not be. Most experts recommend that you should wait three months before bringing in a new animal.
Keep Your Pet Busy and Provide Stimulation
If your pet is home alone for the first time providing them with a toy that stimulates their mind can help with anxiety. For example, treat-hiding toys for a dog or a new scratching post for your cat. Ensuring your pet still gets adequate exercise can also help reduce anxiety when they’re alone.
Be There to Provide Comfort
Finally, the best thing that you can do is be there for your pet. This means praising them for calm behaviour and comforting your pet if they come to you for a cuddle.