Pets In Mourning: Helping Your Pet Through The Grief Of Losing A Friend
by Amber Keiper
Last month, BARF World lost a great friend and fellow animal lover, Louise Waram. Louise was one of BARF World’s original startup investors, and the mother of our company’s president, Lily Noon. She was a loving mother to us all and taught us many life lessons about family, love, and how to maintain good health. She left behind three daughters, a son, and a beloved chihuahua, named Munchkin.
Losing a cherished friend is hard for everyone, including our pets. Dogs and cats go through the same emotions that we do when we mourn. Grief and sorrow affect our pets, especially since they can sense our own feelings as well.
Some of the common behaviors that our animals may experience while grieving are:
So how do you help a pet through the grieving process? Some animal experts say that allowing your pets to see and smell the deceased helps them to understand that their friend has passed on. Allowing your dogs or cats to smell a lock of hair or a clipping of fur can help them through the anxiety and uncertainty of a friend that has suddenly disappeared from their life without explanation.
- A change in vocalization (either by becoming more vocal or quieter than normal).
- Increased attachment/separation anxiety
- Lethargy or restlessness
- Loss of appetite or refusal to eat
There are also holistic remedies that can help give some comfort to a grieving pet. Wapiti Labs has an herbal tincture called Chest that not only helps treat kennel cough, but also has components in it that can help a grieving animal. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the energy of sadness and grief is stored in the lungs. For this reason, pets that have faced abandonment, have been moved around in shelters or foster care, or that have lost a beloved sibling or guardian will benefit emotionally from the herbal support of Chest.
And don’t overlook the possibility of help from your family and friends. When you and your pet are ready, go and seek out their love and support and share with them the fond memories that you have of your cherished friend.
In loving memory of Lillian Louise Steffens Waram
4/6/1917 - 11/6/2013
Amber Keiper is the Marketing Coordinator and Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. She is “mom” to two animal rescues - a spoiled Havanese mix named Chewy and a sassy tabby mix named Chiquita. For more holistic pet health, nutrition and wellness tips, go to barfworld.com or sign up for the FREE weekly newsletter, The Intelligent Pet.
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