We have one pet, a dog. My LO* loves her. He walks her several times a day. Periodically he thinks we have more than one dog. If we are leaving for a long trip he will ask if both dogs are going. Sometimes he’ll see the dog we have and ask me where the other one is.
I try to answer as calmly as possible that we only have one dog. He will just shake his head and, say something like, “I thought we had another one,” and move on.
I don’t think he sees another dog, as in a hallucination. I think he remembers the dog we had before this one who died. There are certain conditions, Lewy bodies dementia for instance, where people do hallucinate. Those hallucinations can take the form of brightly colored people or animals and these hallucinations can take place on a daily basis lasting several minutes.
If you notice this kind of behavior, make a note of what is said, and be sure to share the information with your LO’s doctor!
*LO: Loved One