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Study Finds That Dogs Grieve Over The Death of A Fellow Canine

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Study Finds That Dogs Grieve Over The Death Of A Fellow Canine

The death of a fur baby is almost impossible to bear and something that we cannot really fathom. But it doesn’t only affect us humans. In fact, if you own multiple dogs, a new study found that it affects the deceased’s furry friends as well. Dogs also display signs of grief after the death of another dog from the same household. 

The study was conducted through a survey in Italy of 426 dog owners who experienced the death of a dog and had another dog living in the same household. 86 percent of the owners reported that there were negative changes in the surviving dog’s behavior after the death of their furry friends. Some of these behaviors included increased attention-seeking, playing less, being less active, and becoming fearful. These, among other behaviors, are signs that your dog could be depressed.

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What’s interesting is that this only affected dogs who had a friendly relationship with their fellow dog who passed away. The length of time the dogs knew each other surprisingly did not influence the surviving dog’s behavior. What also contributed to the dog’s grieving was that their owners were grieving as well. 

Dr. Federica Pirrone, who led the study, informed MailOnline that there are several ways by which you can console your grieving dog. According to Pirrone, “It is advisable that they (dog owners) stay close to their dog, share activities with them and make them feel protected.”

This study confirmed that since dogs are descended from pack animals, they are more likely to develop a strong emotional bond with members of their group. 

So if you feel like your dog is grieving today, they need you too. 

What do you think of the findings of this study? Have you experienced dealing with a grieving dog?

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  1. Avatar Of Ken Oconnell

    Ken OConnell


    We have found it is very important to show the living Doggies the body of their dead friend. Dogs understand death, but they do not understand abandonment. We know first hand that this helps the remaining Doggies deal with their loss…

  2. Avatar Of Tuckersmom



    As much as I love dogs and feel they are family, I wonder how much of this grieving is really perception on the part of the humans. We always try to humanize our dogs, but there’s no way to tell what they’re actually thinking.

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