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Dogs May Mourn as Deeply as Humans Do
Date:7/6/2012

RI technology to study how the human mind works. "If I were to speculate, I would guess that, like people, some dogs mourn and others don't."

King agrees. After all, she said, dogs possess unique personalities and react differently, even in the same situation. Whether a dog grieves hinges on a dynamic mix of life experiences, added King, including how they were raised and what their people or animal housemates were like.

If a pet mopes around the house after the death of a canine or human companion, Yin suggests the best thing owners can do is to get their dog's mind off the loss by engaging their pet in fun activities such as a game of fetch, brisk walks and play dates with other pets. "The activity depends on what the dog historically likes," she said.

Don't expect a quick fix. It may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, pet experts believe, before a dog's spirits begin to lift.

More information

For more on canine behavior, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association.

SOURCES: Sophia Yin, D.V.M., veterinarian and applied animal behaviorist, San Francisco; Barbara J. King, Ph.D., professor, anthropology, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Va.; Gregory Berns, Ph.D., M.D., director, Emory Center for Neuropolicy, Emory University, Atlanta;


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