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Ask Bondi Vet - How to help a grieving dog after the loss of his mate?

In every episode of Ask Bondi Vet, Pete Lazer is joined by one of our Bondi Vets, to discuss the answers to your pet questions.

Pete Lazer - Hello and welcome to Ask Bondi Vet, proudly brought to you by Bondi Vet pet insurance. Pete Lazer with you and as always we get one of our Bondi vets to come in and answer your questions. Today Dr. Danni. Danni has joined us, hi Danni.

Very well thank you. Now we’ve got a question from Lindsay it’s a bit of a sad question. Lindsay asks:

“ How can we help our dog that’s grieving the loss of his mate. We recently lost our 10 year old Siberian Husky, his mate of 9.5 years is still with us and clearly misses his mate”.

How can we help him through this process?

Dr Danni Dusek -Oh, that’s such a sad story and I bet he is mourning a lot, it is really common for dogs to mourn the loss of their mates and owners too and look it can last for days to months depending on the dog so it can be really challenging. First thing I would say is if there’s anything that’s particularly concerning them about their dog, you know if there is any lethargy or any signs like that I would certainly go and take your dog to the vet just to get checked up, just to make sure that there’s nothing else going on and that he’s otherwise healthy and then we can go on to help support him through his grieving process.

Pete Lazer - You talk about support during that grieving process, what are some of the things that owners can do?

Dr Danni Dusek - Well I think the biggest thing is just making sure you are doing whatever it is that makes your dog happy. You know, whether its taking them for walks more frequently or for a drive in the car, give him his favourite food or treats, all those things to try and redirect his energy into more happy things. But certainly it can take some time stil, so if you are having more problems then there’s more things that we can do.

Pete Lazer - Do you think it would help to remove reminder of his mate of nine and a half years?

Dr Danni Dusek - I tend to suggest to leave those reminders there for the dog so if there’s anything that’s got that’s got the husky’s scent on it, it would be a nice idea to leave that with you mate that’s mourning his loss. Just to have a bit of comfort and a reminder of his mate, that might help him get through that process.

Pete Lazer - So if those things aren’t working and of course it also involves the owners I’m sure as well, what’s the next step in the process?

Dr Danni Dusek - I guess if just that sort of general support isn’t working then there are things like dog appeasing pheromone diffusers and collars that can help settle down the anxiety of that loss. Otherwise definitely head to you vet and have a chat to them about different options, because there’s certainly medications that we can use to help settle that anxiety whilst they are going through that process and then we can get them back off that medication once they are sort of coping again.

Pete Lazer - Is it important to note that it will be different for every situation here as well? Like every dog will be different and the owners just need to make sure they understand that process as well.

Dr Danni Dusek - Absolutely, it will vary very much, animal to animal and how they cope and how they respond so you’ve just got to keep a close eye on how your dog is coping and then make some of the appropriate decisions for them.

Pete Lazer -If you’ve got any questions for us make sure you get onto the Bondi vet Facebook page or website Of course if you do have any doubts speak to your vet as well. That’s it for now, thanks for joining us.