How To Help A Dog That Is Grieving


Well-Known Member
Hey I have a rat terrier dog that is 4 years old and her name is Prissy and she has been crying and being very whiney. My Dad died February 27th and she was very attached to my dad, she would set in his lap for hours, she really loved him. Now she sets at his chair looking up and cries, she sees his shoes and clothes and she cries, sometimes she will get so upset that she has diarrhea really bad and sometimes she will not eat. Any suggestions on what I can do to help her.


Honored Member
Oh I'm so sorry, please accept my condolences on the loss of your father. :( You and Prissy have really had a rough time of late, wow. Dogs indeed do grieve, and they need to be allowed to. If only we could explain things to them - altho I'm one who does just that. I sit and talk to my dogs, and tell them everything, always. I always feel that on some level they understand. Since Prissy spent so much time with your did, her world has obviously been rocked by his absence. Try to give her a new schedule and stick to it. Maybe an additional playtime, if even for a couple min, or an additional walk, or a ride in the car, maybe a ride to the park for a walk. The walk or playtime doesn't have to be long or extensive, just something to get her out of her grieving mode, something to give her something fun to do for a little while. You spend time with her, and have other family members do the same as well, if there is any other family there with you. She will definitly grieve, and needs to do so. I remember years ago when I lost one of my sheps, my other dog literally came out of my bedroom to eat and do his business outside - and outside of that, he just laid on his bed for weeks in my bedroom. I'd call him out and take him for a walk, and he'd mope along, then come home and go right back to my bedroom. He didn't want to play, a few times he refused his walks. And finally, he started coming around - but it took a few weeks. Give Prissy time. Maybe give her one of your dad's shirts or something in her bed, then put other clothing out of her sight/reach for now. Be good to yourself too, as I'm sure this is hard on you as well. Prissy will feel your emotions and react accordingly. You two just take care of each other - and you know if you need friends, we're always here.


Honored Member
I too am so sorry to hear of your dad's passing, please accept my condolences also.:(

Jackie is right, you and Prissy have had a lot to bear of late, more than most people that's for sure.

Dogs, in fact all animals grieve, just as we do. It's natural and healthy, but I always do as Jackie does, talk to my animals, because I too believe that on some level they do understand us, more than we realize. Prissy will definitely feel his loss, very much so, as she's been with him so much, he's been a part of her world. And I am willing to bet, helped her with her problems too.

Jackie has given you grand advice, there's not really anything I can add, except that my late cat Buddha grieved for quite a long time when he lost his best friend, my late German Shepherd Jacques. He, like Jackie's dog, just appeared long enough to do his potty, then returned to his 'secret' place to grieve. It took a while, but he did come through it, and even 'trained' the two puppies who arrived home a few weeks later.

And I'll also second Jackie, be good to yourself, you're also grieving and have had a really tough time. Take care of yourselves and yes, never forget, you've got friends here if you need a shoulder, we're always here and always ready to help.

Take care Prissy and Kim, my thoughts are with you both.


Honored Member
I am so sorry for your loss.:( My thoughts are with you and Prissy.

I don't have anything else to add, Jackie and MaryK have given great advice.


Experienced Member
So sorry for your loss.

Like jackie and Mary K said, dogs do grieve and you need to give them time, just like people. Maybe try and keep her mind off of it, by having frequent and fun play sessions, giving her short, fun, totally non-serious trick training sessions and taking her for walks.


Well-Known Member
Just a update on Prissy, she is doing wonderful at the moment. she is eating like she is suppose to and no vomiting or diarrhea and she weighs 6 and a half pounds now, she is running around and playing just like she has never been sick. I am so thankful she is doing good now.