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Grief

Grief

Herbal remedies for grieving cats and dogs to help calm feelings of grief and mourning in pets.

Animals routinely experience irregularities in bodily systems, including the Central and Autonomic Nervous systems, requiring a correction to restore emotional balance, to promote relaxation, to balance mood and provide feelings of comfort and security.

As painful and confusing as grief and bereavement can be for humans, it is similar for pets. Animals form strong bonds and deep attachments with other animals and owners, and as a result, the impact of the loss can be quite traumatic. Grieving pets may also become more needy and not want to be separated from owners or they may search or pine for their dead companions.

When a pet experiences the loss of another animal companion, or human family member, the animal may actually become depressed because he has lost a loved one.

Because animals are perceptive, they often also sense the owner’s sorrow and pain.

Grief and anxiety in pets are very common problems, representing one of the top reasons for veterinary visits. Animals can experience grief and anxiety when left alone for long periods of time, lack social contact, are confined to small spaces, experience boredom or are ill. Our animals can also detect our moods and feelings and mimic our behaviors. Just like humans, with prolonged exposure to stress, your pet can develop an anxiety disorder.

Some pet owners are surprised to learn that pets are sensitive to changes in their environments and the same factors that stress humans affect animals, including:

Grief

Separation anxiety (from owner or another pet)

Addition to family (baby, spouse, another animal, visiting guests)

A new home, relocation, boarding, kenneling

Illness

Poor nutrition (diet which contains processed foods including corn, wheat, soy, meat by product, other fillers, preservatives and additives)

Change of owner

Grooming or vet visits

Emotional stress: abuse, fear, traumatic event, genetic nervous temperament, death of a family member or pet companion, jealousy or rivalry, stress and poor health

Change in daily routine

Crowds, small groups of people and small children

Breeding

Noises, pressure or phobias: thunder, lightning, fireworks, sirens, loud parties, dryers, vacuum cleaner

The most common anxiety disorders include separation anxiety, 
noise phobias and social anxiety:

Separation anxiety is one of the most common anxiety disorders and typically occurs when pets are left alone and separated from their owners. Destructive behavior such as continuous barking and whining, chewed furniture, scratching of doors or soiled floors may be exhibited when the pet is left alone.

Noise phobia occurs when pets are fearful of loud noises such as thunderstorms, firecrackers, gunshots, sound of birds, a vacuum cleaner or a hairdryer. Often, when animals are frightened by loud noises they may run and hide to a safer haven. In trying to escape, they may endanger themselves by jumping through windows, digging or running away. Other signs of fear that may be displayed include excessive barking, meowing, drooling, trembling, chewing, urinating or defecating.

Social anxiety most often occurs when pets have not been socialized at an early age. Pets that have not been socialized are fearful and overwhelmed by crowds, small groups of people as well as other animals. When the pet becomes anxious, he may feel trapped and cornered which in turn causes him to react aggressively or run to a safe retreat.

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The symptoms of anxiety include:

Excessive barking

Whining and moaning

Trembling or shivering

Drooling and panting

Pacing

Poor appetite

Licking or chewing of skin

Hyperactivity or excitability

Soiling the house or tearing up household items in your absence

You may notice that your dog or cat expresses grief in a physical or psychological manner. Your pet may have stopped eating, distanced themselves from you or other members of the family and lost complete interest in their favorite activities.

Help the animal get over his grief by giving him extra attention and being compassionate. Do not allow the animal to fall into a slump because you may think that he can deal with this grief on his own.

Stay involved by coaxing him to eat, play and exercise and avoid reinforcing or rewarding unwanted behaviors such as picky eating or depression. The length of time spent grieving differs for each pet, like with humans, for some the grief period may last longer than others.

While some dogs or cats adjust and gradually come to terms with their loss, others tend to struggle and find it harder to cope. For pets that are clearly not coping, you need to consult your vet or an animal behaviorist.

When dealing with a grieving animal, the best medicine that is needed is lots of TLC. It is very important that you do not allow the dog or cat to become too dependent on you, as this can often lead to severe separation anxiety or depression. Monitor any physical and behavioral changes carefully. During the mourning period, the animal may not have an appetite and a good idea would be to provide his favorite foods to help him to eat.

Keep routines as normal as possible and continue to encourage exercise and playtimes to keep the pet active and revitalized. Distract the pet with toys, special food treats, other animals or people and take him with you when you go out. Massage, stroke, hold or cuddle your pet, as any form of touch is very soothing and calming.

Herbal Remedies:

Herbal remedies promote a calm and relaxed state, promoting vitality and emotional health, to relieve separation anxiety and depression caused by emotional distress, loneliness or sadness and are effective, gentle and have few, if any side effects. Herbals help your animal to cope with anxiety by working on a variety of bodily systems to provide whole systemic support, relaxing the Central and Autonomic Nervous Systems, allowing your animal to distinguish between a safe vs. fearful situation.

Serenity Zen Dog & Cat - (learn more) is used for its multi-level support to soothe, relax, calm and provide pain relief to nerves, muscles and all bodily systems (Adrenal, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Excretory, Respiratory, Autonomic and Central Nervous Systems), for anxiety disorders, allergies, digestive colic, storms, travel, boarding, vet visits, separation, restlessness, irritability, depression, ADHD and ADD, to maintain normal electrical balance in the brain, reduce neuro inflammation and modulate inflammatory response.

Soothed & Serene – (learn more) is used to relax and calm all bodily systems, to soothe animals exhibiting all types of  destructive behavior due to anxiety, fear, grief, separation, pain, illness, allergies, aggression, socialization issues, electrical and thunder storms due to its calming, mildly sedative and nervine effects that can bridge nutritional deficiencies and relieve irregularity in bodily systems, restore emotional balance, promote comfort, relaxation, balanced mood and feelings of security.

All Shins & Grins – (learn more) supports the skin’s ability to withstand environmental toxin, antigen and microorganism exposure due to its Vitamin C and antioxidant content, promotes optimal immune responsepromotes strong teeth, bone, skin and coat, reduces allergic (acute and chronic) skin reactions and irritations, hot spots and soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infections and provides general mood support.

There are several things that you can do to help a mourning pet and these include:

If the pet is mourning the loss of a companion animal or human member of the family, shower him with lots of love and attention but try not to overdo to it as it can lead to separation anxiety.

Keep routines as normal as possible – feed, exercise and play with the animal at the same times

Do not reinforce or reward behavioral changes such as picky eating or give too much attention to the pet

Talk to the pet, play music or leave the television on during the day may also be very comforting

Exercise your pet by encouraging any form of activity to increase energy levels and lift his spirit

If your pet experiences loss of appetite, give him palatable food or a special concentrated diet that contains all the essential nutrients. Warm the food until just below body temperature and feed him small meals two to four times a day.

Try and coax the pet to play his favorite game

Leave toys and food treats out for the pet to find during the course of the day

Encourage your pet to interact with other animals and people – very often the grieving animal may not respond to you but will interact with a visitor to your home or another animal

If you have more than one pet, especially in the case of dogs, allow the surviving animals to work out the new pecking order

Do not rush to get a new pet as a companion for the grieving animal until you or the owner are ready to take on this new responsibility

Massage and stroke your pet – touch therapy can be very soothing for animals

Be patient and compassionate, and remember that time does heal all wounds

Related Products:

AM A ROCK STAR! - (learn more) supports adrenal gland health and response to stress and metabolic demand, supports glandular ability to rebuild and regenerate, promotes hormonal balance, regulates stress on liver, kidney and digestive functions by reducing thirst and excessive elimination, promotes cognitive function and memory performance, balances blood sugar levels, for natural energy in young and geriatric pets, increases muscle use, ability and stamina, provides anti-inflammatory and immune support, helps maintain healthy adrenal, central nervous, digestive, immune and reproductive systems.

Life’s An Itch! (learn more) promotes optimal immune response, reduces acute and chronic seasonal allergies and irritations including contact, food, skin, atopic and parasitic allergens, reduces respiratory disorders, relieves wheezing, chest discomfort and sinus inflammation, soothes smooth muscles and tissues, alleviates respiratory congestion, as a bronchodilator, for asthma, coughs, pneumonia, laryngitis, esophaghitis (GERD, reflux), rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, COPD, relieves viral and bacterial infections, hot spots, swelling, inflammation, hair loss, soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, and works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infections.

Conventional Remedies:

Very often, grief in pets can lead to severe depression, and your vet may prescribe antidepressants or refer you to an animal behavior psychologist. Keep in mind that while these antidepressants may alleviate the symptoms, they have some negative side effects that may affect your pet’s health.

 

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