Researchers Reveal Losing A Dog Can Be As Hard As Losing A Loved One

If you have had a dog and lost it, you may surely know the pain. A pet is not just an animal for you; it’s a member of your family. You develop a special bond with them and they become your best friend. When you lose your pet, it brings deep sadness.

When a dog owner loses their beloved pet, they need time to grieve and process before being able to move on. The people who don’t have dogs may not understand this pain. They might tell a grieving “pet parent” to just get over it since it’s “only a dog.” but, this will only worsen the pain.

According to science, mourning the loss of a much-loved dog is not unusual and it is a real and valid experience. The research also suggests that it’s really hard to overcome the death of a passed pet, and it can be harder than healing from the passing of a human. Here’s why it can be so hard to overcome losing a dog.

5 reasons why losing a dog is as hard as losing a loved one

“Sometimes losing a pet is more painful than losing a human because, in the case of the pet, you were not pretending to love it.” – Amy Sedaris


The Official Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Study said that, we make up bonds with our pets that are very similar to the bonds we form with people. Our bodies produce the exact hormones when we build up a bond with dogs as when we build up a bond with people, so your pups begin to feel just like family to you. The same chemical process is happening like you are speaking to a family member. When you lose your dog, it’s like you’re moving away from a bond that you’ve deeply attached with.


Even though the relationship you have with the dogs is similar, you can’t mourn for them the same way you do for people. You can seek therapy or counseling, have the support of friends, family, and loved ones, and hold or attend a funeral when a human you’re close to passes away.

You have to move on as quickly as you can when a dog passes away as this is what others deem acceptable. As others don’t see the loss of a pet as something worth grieving over you can mourn for them as the way you do for people according to Telegraph.

It will be tough for you to reconcile a pet’s passing and find closure so you can move on as if you attend therapy for such a thing might result in negative social repercussions.


You are losing your dog as well as the feelings you got around them when your pet dies. You’re also losing their love, the comfort their presence gave, and the companionship they provided. This will make you feel empty.

Dogs give their owners the unconditional love that you never get from people. It’s the true love and losing it really hurts a lot.


When you have a dog at home, you spend more time with them and losing them makes your home a different place.

  • You’re losing all the routines you got so used to such as feeding your pup or taking them out on walks.
  • You no longer hear them running through the house, or feel them when they jump up on your lap for a cuddle.
  • You may feel like you’re lost, when you don’t have anything to do for your pet.


You are the one who have to take decisions about your dog’s life. You may have had to decide that it was time to put them to sleep if they were suffering. You may still feel guilty about what happened even though you made the best choice for your pup.

You will feel more difficult to move on with the feeling of guilt. You may feel like you should have done more even when there was nothing else you could do.

So, what does this all mean?

Losing your pet is really heartbreaking. You need to grieve for them and your feelings are absolutely valid. Tell other people that your feelings are backed by science if other people don’t understand your feelings.

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