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Does My Dog Miss My Ex? Vet Approved Explanation

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Going through a breakup can be an extremely difficult time, especially if you and your ex spent a lot of time together. While it’s difficult for you, you at least have a concept of what’s going on. What about your dog, though? All they know is that, suddenly, that person isn’t around anymore. Do they miss your ex once they’re gone? It is quite possible that your dog misses your ex. Read on for more.


Does My Dog Miss My Ex?

Let’s start by saying no one can completely understand what a dog is thinking or feeling, but we can extrapolate from their body language and other signs. This means that dogs may exhibit body language similar to humans for emotions such as sadness or excitement. That being said, dogs can show signs of depression or grief when someone they once knew is no longer around.

Regardless of how you feel about your ex, your dog isn’t capable of understanding the depth of the human emotions experienced during a relationship and breakup.  If your dog was around your ex and formed a close bond with them, then it can be extremely hard on your dog to lose that person. Because of this, it’s very likely that your dog does miss your ex.

In some cases, dogs may seem depressed or in a state of grief. After all, they’ve simply lost someone they were bonded with. Dogs are likely to respond to the loss of someone through a breakup in a similar way to how they respond when a family member dies. This may include listlessness, not eating, sleeping more, hiding, or becoming overly clingy.

a german shepherd dog with his owner in the shelter
Image Credit: Lena Ivanova, Shutterstock

How to Help Your Dog After a Breakup

A breakup will be hard on you, but it’ll be even harder to watch your dog go through the emotions of losing a friend. To help your dog work through their feelings, provide them with lots of extra time and attention. Aim to keep interactions positive, so your dog doesn’t feel stressed by the extra attention.

Consider picking up a new walking routine or discovering a new toy or game the two of you both enjoy. Finding ways to distract your dog while showing them that they’re not alone are two of the best ways to help your furry friend through the loss of your ex.

Keep in mind that dogs are highly in tune with the emotions of the people around them. This means that your dog will not only be stressed over the loss of someone, but they’ll also be able to pick up on your negative emotions surrounding the breakup. This just makes it even more important for you to find ways to provide your dog with positive, happy interactions, as well as reassurance that they’re not going to be left alone.

divider-dog paw

In Conclusion

It can be very difficult for a dog to lose a human they’re bonded closely with. Dogs form bonds indiscriminately, so you can expect your dog to form a bond with your roommate or significant other, just like they would with a family member in the household. Once that person is no longer around after a breakup, it can be hard on your dog. So it’s up to you to find ways to support your dog through this difficult time. It can be hard to focus on that when you’re going through your own emotions during a breakup but try to set aside at least a little extra time every day to spend with your dog during this period of loss.

Featured Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

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