Losing a family pet is one of the most challenging experiences you may go through in your lifetime. Over the years, you and your pet bonded and he became a member of your family — his passing can be likened to losing a child or a sibling. It’s normal to wonder, “Does my dead dog know I miss him?”
After all, your grief can be intense, and there’s solace in the belief that your dog can understand that you feel his absence and that you wish your pup could be with you once again.
In this article, we’re going to talk a little bit about whether your pup can feel that you miss him, and we’ll talk about how to handle the grief that inevitably comes following the loss of a pet.
Remember that if you need help overcoming that pain, there are pet loss support groups and counselors available to you.
Before you read this guide, “Does My Dead Dog Know I Miss Him,” check out: Why Do Dogs Walk in Circles Before They Die? (And What Does It Mean?) (2023) and Dog Died Suddenly With Tongue Out: What Does It Mean? (2023).
Does My Dead Dog Know I Miss Him?
There is no simple answer to this question. The fact of the matter is that we simply don’t know.
Because we don’t know what happens after death, and because we’re not sure what dogs know about death, it’s impossible to determine whether a dead dog knows his parent misses him. By the same token, we don’t know whether a dog that’s recently passed can miss us.
A lot of the answer to the question depends upon your personal faith and religious beliefs. Some are religious and believe in life after death. Others are non-religious but feel that spirits remain in this world after death. Still, others believe that death brings nothing at all.
What are your beliefs? Do you believe that our spirits move on after death? If so, it’s fair to assume that a dog’s spirit does, too, and that they can sense — or even see — how we’re reacting to and coping with their passing.
Take comfort in your own personal ideology and belief system, and always watch for signs that your beloved family pet is still with you.
Is My Dog Still With Me After Death?
As we mentioned, whether your dog’s spirit remains with you after his death is partially determined by your own religion and belief system. However, some believe that dogs (and people) will give “signs” to let us know that they’re still here!
Let’s look at a few of those signs and symbols.
A Visit From a Dragonfly or Butterfly
Some, including certain Native American people, believe that when you’re visited by a dragonfly, it may mean that the spirit of your loved one is taking the form of a dragonfly. It’s especially meaningful if the dragonfly perches on you — a final goodbye, of sorts.
Each year in late spring, you can memorialize your dog’s passing. Simply sit on your front porch or patio and watch for the dragonflies that will certainly visit you.
“When a cardinal appears, a loved one is near.” It’s said that cardinal appearances are visits from angels and that when you spot a cardinal, it may be the angel of a loved one.
Cardinals are “messengers from heaven,” so pay attention! When you see one, no matter the season, it just may be that your beloved dog is sending you a message of consolation. Take the opportunity to tell this sweet messenger just how much you miss his companionship.
A Dog’s Appearance in Your Dreams
Some believe that the presence of, or a visit from, your beloved pet in a dream can signify that the animal is trying to relay a message to you. And sometimes, that message can be as simple as “I miss you.”
If you’ve had dreams about your dog, try to make note of them when you wake up. You can then take what you remember from your dreams to determine what your pup was trying to tell you.
Reactions From Children or Other Pets
It’s said that children and animals are especially receptive to spirits, so if your dog returns to you there’s a good chance your child or pet will notice first.
Your dog or cat may start staring, barking, or even hissing at a place where nothing else seems to be. Your child may even point and tell you that they see your dog.
“Does my dead dog know I miss him?” Maybe that’s up to your children or your other pets to tell you.
Scents and Movement
The simplest way to know if your beloved family pet has come for a visit? You may smell a particular scent you’ve associated with him, or you may see objects moving.
When your dog’s favorite ball rolls a couple of inches across the floor, sure — it could be a draft or the wind. But some believe that these scents and motions are your playful pup visiting to say hi!
As with any other sign, why not take the moment to thank your pup for his friendship and let him know how much you miss him?
How Can I Tell My Dead Dog I Miss Him?
If you believe in life after death, in reincarnation, or in the passing on of spirits that linger among us, you can absolutely talk to your deceased pet.
There are a number of ways you can show your dog that you’re sorely missing her snuggles and playtime. You can try one (or all) of these methods of communicating with the baby you lost.
Hold a Memorial
Whether your dog was cremated or you’re choosing to bury him, it’s a good idea to hold a memorial for your dog. This certainly won’t rid you of your grief, but will help bring closure to you.
Invite whomever you’d like to invite, and welcome others’ words about your pet. Your memorial doesn’t have to be on the day you bury your dog; choose a day that you’ll be able to observe year after year.
Create a Sacred Space
Immediately following the passing of your dog, you may go through a range of emotions. One part of you may wish to hold on to your dog’s toys, pictures, and belongings while another side of you may feel that letting go of them will help.
Consider creating a memorial space in your home. Whether it’s a shelf on your bookcase or even a box filled with pictures and a few of his favorite toys, there’s a good chance you’ll want to bring them out from time to time.
If you need to, ask a friend to help you pack away a few of your pup’s possessions. From time to time, bring them out and “talk to” your dog.
Plant a Tree or Bush
If you’ve chosen to bury your dog, you can plant a tree or bush over his burial site. This is a bit more special than a headstone, and you’ll be able to connect with your pup each time you water, prune, or harvest fruit from your tree.
Weeping willows and Japanese maples are favorite choices, and rose bushes or lilac bushes will produce the most heavenly-smelling flowers in the warmer months.
Your Own Personal Touch
Was there something you and your dog enjoyed doing together? Maybe you had a favorite park — you could visit or donate a bench. If you adopted your dog from a shelter, you can make a donation or foster an animal.
The way you let your dog know you miss him is entirely up to you and your lifestyle. Add your own personal touch to make your memorial or your celebration of his life unique to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve lost a beloved pet, you want to know that, after death, he’s okay. We don’t claim to know all the answers, but here are a few of the most frequently asked questions from our readers.
We don’t know what happens after death, so there’s really no way to know whether a deceased dog misses its owner. We can, however, take comfort in the “signs” we may notice, or in religious beliefs.
In any event, it certainly hurts nothing to tell your dog how you feel, even after his passing. Maybe he’ll hear your message.
Dogs have a different sense of permanence than we do, but studies suggest that yes, a dog will notice the absence of another. Whether it’s an owner or a doggy companion that’s passed, your dog will display signs that the absence is noticed. He may even grieve in his own way.
Do you believe in heaven? A Rainbow Bridge? Some other place where the deceased travel after death?
We don’t know what happens after death, but you can take comfort in the beliefs you hold as you think about whether your canine companion is waiting for you in heaven.
Losing your dog is one of the most painful events you’ve probably experienced in your life. It’s normal to feel angry, sad, overwhelmed, and even lost after the death of your friend.
Please seek help if you need it. You may feel like you’re sinking, but there are people out there who want to help you. If you feel like you’re just treading water, please reach out to a friend, family member, or religious leader to help you through.
If you feel that you have no one, please find a local pet loss support group, or call the ASPCA’s support line at 1-877-GRIEF-10. There are local groups and hotlines in your area that you can contact, as well.
Conclusion for “Does My Dead Dog Know I Miss Him”
We don’t know what happens after death, so it’s impossible to tell you whether your deceased dog knows you miss him. What we can tell you, though, is that things will get easier. The pain does not go away completely, but it will subside.
While you cope with the loss of your dog, look for signs that he is still around, and plan a memorial in his honor. Reach out for help if you need it, and remember that recovery happens with time.
If you find this guide, “Does My Dead Dog Know I Miss Him” helpful, check out:
- Do Dogs Have Souls? (2023)
- 9 Best Pet Grave Ideas! (2023)
- 54 Dog Memorial Quotes to Show How Much You Loved Them! (2023)
Learn more by watching “6 Weird Signs That Prove Your Pet is Visiting From the Afterlife | Rainbow Bridge” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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