Everyone takes it hard when a loved one passes on, but we often forget that the family pet may also be experiencing the loss right along with us. Shih Tzus grow solid attachments with every member of the household, and they grieve when one of those people are taken from them. There are some definite signs that they will display during the grieving process, and here are 5 that you should be looking out for:
- Appetite loss – If you find that your Shih Tzu food and water bowl is still pretty full when feeding time comes around, that’s a sure sign that something is not quite right.
- Lethargic – Some pets are more hyper than others, and those that are a bundle of fun-loving joy may stop becoming so active after a loved one has passed. If you see them moping around rather than playing, you can probably bet that they ae feeling a little down.
- Changes in sleep patterns – If your pet suddenly starts sleeping more during the day, they may well start to become very restless at night. Pay attention to their sleep patterns and watch for any changes.
- Potty accidents – You expect the occasional mistake or two from a puppy or kitten, but it’s a sign of a problem if your adult pet starts to make messes in the home. This is one of the more common signs of grief in pets.
- Bad behavior – Humans tend to act out when they are grieving or depressed, and pets are no different. They may start disobeying commands and resorting to behavior that they have been trained to know isn’t acceptable. Keep in mind, though, that this could also be a sign of some other type of illness.
How to Look After Your Grieving Shih Tzu
There are some things that you can do to assist your Shih Tzu through a grieving period, and it really all depends on who they lost. If it’s a human member of the family, you need to do all you can to show some real compassion by going all out to grow the bond between you and your dog. There are sure to be times when you are frustrated, especially if they are going potty in the house, but it’s important that you remain patient and as loving as possible. Do all that you can to discourage any bad behavior, but do it in a way that is consistent with how you trained your pet in the first place. Helping them get back to their regular schedule will certainly help.
If the loss in the family was another beloved pet, the first instinct of many people is to instantly replace that animal with another one. This is not always a good idea, especially if your grieving Shih Tzu is acting out. He or she may not quite be ready to accept a new furry friend into the family, so consider holding off until the grieving period appears to have passed.
If the situation seems particularly bad, you should talk to your vet for advice on how to handle thigs. They are sure to have information and tips that will help you get your Shih Tzu through this rough patch.