How Long Do Dogs Need to Mourn the Loss of their Friends

Tags: dogs, friends, mourn, loss, death, depressed, puppy, life


Question Comment 1: I'm wondering how long it usually takes for a dog who has lost a companion dog to return to normal behavior patterns. Ever since my dog died (suddenly and without warning at the age of 2, of complications from bloat), my malamute has been a little sleepier and less enthusiastic about some things. She has periods of total fun, energy, etc...and then days where she doesn't do much more than sleep. She is still very related and cuddly and doesn't seem to "have lost the will to live" or something, but definitely less active than before. Maybe it's just because there is no hyper puppy to get her up and play 20 times a day? She was definitely depressed for the 1st week or two, now it seems to come in waves and then go.

She is eating well but actually that is kind of not normal for her, she is usually NEVER full and wolfs her food, and these days she is eating more deliberately and slowly, although I was thinking maybe that could be because there isn't the same undercurrent of competitiveness that you have with more than one dog re: food. She eats all that I give her and still tried to steal from us, at least that's normal.

I'm sure she knew he was gone when we got back from the vet, even though she never saw him dead, so she never tried to look for him or wait for him to come home. We brought some fur home for her to sniff and his collar, and I think that is how she knew--I think she could smell his death on it. She also seemed to recognize the smell of his ashes when we brought them home, though I can't sat how that was possible: she sniffed the box ALL over. As far as energy--when we do FUN stuff like walks, etc...she is totally up for it. It is more her general ebb and flow of energy throughout the day, how many times she wants to go out, etc. that seems to be down. It's been about a month, by the way. How long have your dogs taken to mourn?

Mourning is Normal for Dogs

Comment 2: Everything you describe is very normal. It sounds as though she is adjusting to the loss of her buddy. (No one to go out and romp and play, no competition for food, no one around to bother me, or for me to check up I'll just sleep) If you get another pup, she will perk up, I'm sure.

It Takes Time

Comment 3: When our girl Peaches died, our boys mourned. They didn't eat for about 5 days, and were very lethargic. They stayed mopey for at least a month. Then about 45 days later, we brought Aja (our first Akita home), and things went back to normal. Of course Mojo thought she was just for him:) LOL

So, let her work it out. There is no set formula. Know that they also REALLY feed off of our emotions. She knows you are still grieving too! And be prepaired for her to spring back to life when that new Akita boy comes home:)

A New Puppy Changed His Spirit

Comment 4: You know we raised our first male dog with my first ever dog a lab. She died last year in March, and too watch them interact was funny. Even though he was boss he bended to our labs every need including play time or not. When she passed away he was very stoic and non sociable, didn't even really come to us for attention and he pretty much retreated to his crate from then on. Well then we brought home our water dog puppy and those two acted like they were raised together and Our Akita had never played ever, the way does with our water dog even though they are both males, it turned him around a lot.

Depressed Dogs

Comment 5: Our dogs had always been together. They were littermates and best friends. One always liked playing with other dogs, and she got along very well with the other and any other males we had here. When he died, she was so depressed, it just added another crack to my already broken heart. Every time I looked at her, I thought about him, and she must have felt the same way. She completely lost interest in other dogs. When I tried to put her with our other dog, she just treated him like he was a piece of know how dogs do that "you're not there" thing? Well, he wasn't there as far as she was concerned.

Not long after that, my daughter decided to move into an apartment and she found one that allowed big dogs (took her one day) in a nice section of Houston and she took her with her. She never looked back. When she comes over here, she's clearly worried that she's somehow going to be returned to the position of a DOG rather than the esteemed keeper of the house. From living in the apt., now that she is in a house, she thinks that there's absolutely no reason for her highness to be put outside and that dogs should be walked. We had to drag her outdoors to potty.

Now, she seems to like being around the new dog, although they're both so old (11-1/2) that they don't do much but hang out together, but I don't think she ever would have warmed up to another dog...not that she's hostile, she just doesn't care. She's like one of those people who won't get another dog after the first dies because they can't bear being hurt again--someone with a careful heart.

Big Dog Blog
Do you read the blog?

Visit the new Big Paws Blog and information on new dogs, fashion, show, and more that's new in the dog world. Click here to visit and start reading.

Subscribe Subscribe to our blog

RSS Feeds for Dogs



Welcome to Big Paws Only with the best Big Dog Chat and Message Boards. Registration is Quick & Easy, takes only a few seconds, and allows you to view all of the wonderful pictures of our babies, and chat. Posting Pictures is really easy too, and we host them!

Register Here!