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Do Pets Grieve and How?

Morris Animal Foundation

A recent report by the Morris Animal Foundation (September 10th 2020) reported a study that it funded where Australian and New Zealand researchers surveyed 279 owners, investigating changes in behavior in dogs and cats that had recently lost a companion animal in their household. The survey helped document owner-perceived behavioral changes in 414 surviving pets, split evenly between cats and dogs. Behavior categories include changes in affection, feeding, sleeping, vocalization, elimination, aggression, and territoriality.

While many of the reported changes in behaviors were similar between dogs and cats, there were some key differences. For example, cats were more likely to increase vocalizations than dogs and dogs were more likely to change their eating patterns following the death of a pet in the home.

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