When a dog owner dies, where should the pet now live?

  • Animals
  • Wednesday, 24 Apr 2019

When a dog's owner dies, the grieving animal will often lose interest in food and walks. That's exactly when the animal needs familiar routines and a familiar person, experts say. Photo: dpa

A tough situation arises when a dog owner dies: Where should the pet now live?

Monika Addy, from the German Institute for Animal Psychology and Natural Medicine, recommends re-homing the animal with a family member, ideally someone the dog is familiar with.

Some dogs are visibly lethargic after the death of their owner, explains Addy. "They stop eating, they don't want to go out anymore," she says.

For such affected dogs, it's first and foremost important to stick to their usual daily routine. "Distraction, going on walks, motivation" – these are helpful during this time.

If the owner has no family or no one is able to take on the animal, bring it to an animal shelter. "Generally speaking, the shelters try to find homes for these dogs right away," she says.

They also try to ensure that the new family is a good fit, for example that an old dog doesn't end up in a home with young children. – dpa

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