Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Have you ever wondered whether your dog misses someone who used to be a big part of his day-to-day life? Humans aren't the only species with the ability to bond – or to miss those with whom they've bonded. Pets have feelings, and they definitely miss beloved pack members when they're apart. The good news is that there are ways you can help ease the loneliness and stress your dog feels when a loved one isn't around.
Spending time with your dog is always important, but it's even more so when he misses someone. In addition to simply keeping him company while you go about your day, be sure to set aside some special time for your canine friend. He'll appreciate playtime, walks, training games and just hanging out together. Make sure he has a job to do, and don't forget to talk to him. Even if you're convinced he doesn't understand a word you say, the positive attention and the sound of your voice will be more than welcome.
Nowadays, many people travel frequently for both business and pleasure. Others move out, sometimes temporarily while attending college, but often permanently. Pets that have bonded closely with them can get lonely, anxious or even depressed. Fortunately, being apart doesn't always have to mean complete separation; technology provides several options to bridge the gap. For example, webcams and smartphones enable users to see each other even when they're miles apart. If your dog misses someone who's away, try setting up a video chat. If that's not possible, even a simple phone call in which he can hear his friend's voice will reassure him.
Sadly, some separations are permanent. If your dog misses someone who has passed away, he will mourn the loss. Try offering an item of clothing with his loved one's scent. Sleeping with this item should provide comfort while your dog adjusts to life without his friend. Some dogs find themselves in a new home due to the death of their owner. When this occurs, it's a very confusing and sad time for the dog. In addition to grieving, he has to adjust to a new environment, schedule and rules. To help with this adjustment, try to maintain his original meal and walk schedule at first if you know it; you can gradually make any major changes necessary.
If your dog misses another pet that passed away, he may find himself adjusting to a new position in the pack. Although it might change his status yet again, finding a new companion for your dog can help, but only under the right circumstances. Responsible pet owners never adopt a pet if they're not ready, willing and able to provide a safe, loving home.
If you find that you are in a position to adopt, however, a new friend could help your dog's blues. Before making that commitment, arrange a meeting to be sure they get along well, and as always, make sure you're adopting for the right reason. If you decide to go through with the adoption, don't forget to buy your new dog or cat his own supplies, including some premium quality CANIDAE or FELIDAE food.
Whether the separation is temporary or permanent, you can make the situation easier for your dog. He won't forget about the loved one he misses, and he'll still have plenty of kisses left for his pack member if they're ever together again.
Photo by Gene Chan
Read more articles by Eliza Wynn