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10 Ways Dogs Can Help With Bereavement



If you are a dog owner and you have been through a bereavement then you will know just how much having a dog around can help. When you lose someone you love it can seem like the world has ended, and you can feel so alone. Nothing anyone can say will make you feel better, you just need time to grieve and process everything.

You sometimes wonder when you will ever feel a moment of happiness or be able to cope with your loss. Having a dog around when you are feeling like this can make a difference. Here are 10 ways dogs can help with bereavement.

  1. Dogs instinctively know when you are feeling low and they will come up to you and show you some love.
  1. You don’t have to speak to dogs, answer to them or explain anything. They are just there for you, with no questions asked. They won’t try and ask you how you are feeling and expect you to say ‘yeah I’m OK’, when you are clearly not.
  1. You might feel completely alone but having a dog by your side makes you feel just a little less lonely.
  1. Everyone else in your household might be extremely low but dogs just carry on with their lives. They will know that something has happened and that their pack is upset but they will still be themselves. Simply watching them fetch a ball or play with their toys is a welcomed distraction.
  1. During your darkest moments, somehow dogs still manage to make you smile. You might be crying your eyes out and then suddenly they do something adorable or hilarious and just for a second you might smile or laugh.
  1. Studies have suggested that owning a dog can have a positive effect on your mental health. Following a bereavement when you are a little mentally unstable having a dog around can really help.
  1. Having a dog forces you to keep some sort of routine. When you are going through a bereavement you may struggle to leave the house and do simple things like go to a coffee shop or go to work. However, we somehow manage to continue to walk, feed and care for our dogs, because we love them. Getting out for a walk everyday when you are feeling low can make such a difference.
  1. When you are crying or feeling really upset at least you can go and give your lovely dog a good cuddle. There’s something really comforting about stroking and cuddling your dog when you are upset. Plus it’s good for both of you and will help you to relax.
  1. They provide something constant in your life. When everything else seems to be falling apart, your dog is there for you no matter what. When you wake up they want attention and when you get home they are always happy to see you, if if you are feeling a bit miserable.


10. They make you feel safe. Having a dog around makes you feel safe, which is especially important if someone is missing from your life.

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