Do dogs mourn their owners?

  • Date: August 3, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Dogs are known for their loyalty and unconditional love, so it is not surprising that many people wonder if their beloved pet can experience the same emotions as humans. One of the most common questions asked about dogs is whether or not they are capable of mourning their owners. Though the answer to this question is not clear-cut, science and research can provide some insight into how dogs grieve over the loss of their owners.

Do Dogs Mourn Their Owners?

The bond between a pet and their owner is one that is often considered to be unbreakable and many people believe that when an owner passes away, their pet will be devastated. But do dogs really mourn their owners?

The answer, according to research, is yes. Dogs are pack animals by nature, and they form very strong bonds with the members of their pack. This includes their human owners, and research has shown that when a dog loses their owner, they can suffer from a form of grief.

Signs of Grief

When a dog loses their owner, they may experience a range of emotions, such as confusion, sadness, and guilt. They may also show signs of grief, such as becoming withdrawn and losing their appetite. Dogs may also become more clingy and reliant on their remaining family members, and may be desperate for attention.

In some cases, dogs may also experience physical symptoms of grief, such as an upset stomach or an increase in their heart rate. Dogs may also become restless and have difficulty sleeping.

Coping With Grief

When a dog is grieving, it is important to provide them with lots of love and affection. It is also important to provide structure and routines, as this can help them to cope with the loss of their owner.

Toys, puzzles, and other forms of enrichment can also help to keep a dog occupied and give them something to focus on. Exercise is also important, as it can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

It is also important to be patient and understanding when a dog is grieving, as it can take some time for them to adjust to the loss of their owner.

Long-Term Effects

In some cases, the grief associated with the loss of an owner can have lasting effects on a dog. Studies have shown that some dogs can become anxious and fearful in the months and years following the loss of their owner.

This can manifest itself in different ways, such as an unwillingness to leave their owner’s side or an excessive barking or whining. In some cases, dogs may also become aggressive or unruly as a result of their grief.

In these cases, it is important to seek professional help from a veterinarian or a qualified animal behaviorist. They can provide advice on how to help a dog cope with the loss of their owner, and can provide support and guidance to the dog’s remaining family members.

## Common Myths About Dogs Mournig Their Owners
1. Dogs are incapable of feeling deep emotions: This is false. Dogs are highly capable of feeling and expressing emotion. In fact, research has shown that dogs can display signs of mourning when their owners pass away.

2. Dogs forget their owners: This is also false. Dogs have an incredible memory and can remember the people and places they have been with for years.

3. Dogs will grieve for a short period of time: This is not necessarily true. Dogs can grieve for a long period of time and may display signs of grief for months or even years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do dogs mourn their owners?

Answer: Yes, dogs can grieve the loss of their owners. They can become depressed, lethargic, and display other signs of grief.

How can I help my dog cope with the loss of a loved one?

Answer: Give your dog plenty of attention and love. Provide familiar routines and comfort items. Seek help from a veterinarian or pet grief counselor if needed.


Dogs form very strong bonds with their owners and can suffer from grief when they are gone. Signs of grief may include confusion, sadness, becoming withdrawn, and losing appetite. It is important to provide love and affection, structure, routine, and exercise to help them cope. In some cases, lasting effects can occur and professional help may be necessary.

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