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Helping Your Pets Cope With Grief

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

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By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Your companion animal truly becomes a member of the family. Coping with the loss of a beloved pet is never easy on us but we have to remember that it is just as difficult for the surviving companion animals in your household.

Many times the animals who are left behind can show signs of depression that we may tend to overlook, such as lethargic behavior, loss of appetite, unusual sleeping and eating patterns, possibly even out of character behavioral changes. They may even, at times, try to search for their missing companion. They too miss this member of the family and are experiencing true grief.

Don’t ignore this behavior, now is the time to give them the extra attention that they need. Provide more quality playtime together. It’s more important than ever to maintain their regular daily schedules. Keep with their usual routines and physical activities. Give them a little time, though, before suddenly adopting again. They need time to grieve, too.

Aside from missing their fellow companion, they are also feeling lost, unsure and unstable. Following a regular schedule and providing extra praise, patience and affection, will allow stability back in their lives. They will soon be able to fully welcome a new member into the family.