Dogs Experience Grief, How to Help Your Dog Cope

This is a really moving piece about animals experiencing grief. Anyone who watched the recent BBC spycam series couldn’t fail to be moved by the scenes of the monkeys grieving the “death” of the monkey spycam, or the giraffes paying their respects to the dead elderly giraffe. Sometimes we take our pets for granted and forget that they can feel just as acutely as us……worth a read.


elena-shimilova-animals-pets-people Copyright Photographer Elena Shimilova.

A study conducted by the ASPCA shows that two-thirds of dogs experience grief after a beloved human or animal companion in the family dies.

“The good news is that in most cases, [the grief] resolves in a couple of weeks,” Stephen Zawistowski, Ph.D., an author on the ASPCA study, says.

Scientists and animal behaviorists agree that dogs feel emotion, including grief. A US News & World Report article states that dogs mourn as deeply as humans. Barbara King, a professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary, says her research of a “surviving dog looking for his companion” proves that dogs “are thinking and feeling creatures, and that sets the stage for grief.”

Mark Bekoff, Ph.D., a former professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, has observed grief in dogs, as well as magpies, llamas and chimpanzees…

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