Ask The Doctor: Pet Loss - Remaining Pet Mourns Loss of Companion

Answered by Catherine Alinovi, DVM, a holistic veterinarian

When a dog loses his canine companion, he may become more sluggish, eat less, or even look around for his buddy. He may not interact with you as much—or he could get clingy and want more attention.

To cheer up your dog naturally, keep up his regular exercise and proper diet. Essential oils like lavender and patchouli may help him relax. Put a few calming drops on his bedding—just make sure he doesn’t ingest the oils, since his body can’t digest them and he could get sick.

Most importantly, include your dog in the family’s healing process. Animals are very in tune with their owners’ feelings and can sense upset energy in the house. Talking to your pooch about the loss of his furry friend can help him—and you—move on. He may not comprehend your exact words, but he’ll understand the emotion behind them. And encourage him to lie near you while you do yoga—he might get in the way of your poses, but if yoga helps you feel spiritually centered, your dog will catch the good vibes.