Signs My Dog Is Dying

Preparing Family Members For Death of A Dog!

Incontinence Problems

Incontinence Problems


Many dog owners know that when your dog reaches a certain age it’s just a matter of time before you have to say goodbye. We share some signs my dog is dying. This will help you to be alert that when you see some of these signs, it is time for your family to prepare to say goodbye to furry friend.

Hopefully, your furry friend has given you a long and full life of joy and happiness and many games of playing fetch and tug-o-war. In the final months of your dog’s life, they will show signs it is getting close.

If you have more than one dog, dogs are similarly, if not more, in tune with their environments and surroundings, and more likely than not, they fully understand when a canine companion is on its way out.

For instance, dogs who sense that death is near will likely cling to and surround their fellow pup. Dogs have incredible senses of smell, and when diseases, sicknesses, or other types of physiological changes happen, tiny behavioral and chemical changes are picked up by dogs.

The purpose of this article is to present to you some of the most common signs that your dog will show when it the time is near so you can take the appropriate action. It will also help your family to prepare for the day as it will be hard for the family members too.

I will say that losing a pet is hard, but losing him unexpectedly is even more difficult. The following signs could indicate the time is very close. So, let’s share them.

Video – Signs My Dog Is Dying

Below is a great video showing you the 10 critical signs your dog is dying.

Losing Control of Their Bladder or Bowels

As they age, some dogs may poop or pee in their sleep. While others may dribble urine as they walk without seeming to notice. The loss of bladder or bowel control can be upsetting because your dog does not want to soil the house.

If this is the case, you need to be compassionate and never scold your furry friend for these accidents. This will only increase their anxiety and distress. Some medications and even more frequent trips outside can help incontinence will often worsen as your dog nears the end of their life.

Your Dog Does Not Want To Go Outside

As a dog nears death, they will become less mobile, and their legs may start giving out and the dog may even stop wanting to go out for walks. Changes in mobility often start off subtly with the dog trotting after a tennis ball instead of running.

Then, gradually they progressed to not being able to jump on the couch, struggling with stairs, or slippery floors. They may also have trouble getting up after a nap. You can help your furry friend by making sure their water and food bowls are easily accessible. Keep them close to where they spend most of their time. Eventually your dog may be unable to maintain a standing position and lose their balance or coordination.

Loss of Interest

When the dog nears the end of their lifespan, they will begin to lose interest in the world around them and they may stop caring about things. As they normally busied themselves with their favorite toys, they will start to gather dust.

They may no longer have the energy to jump up to greet you at the door or wag their tail when you tease them with their favorite toy. This is because your dog is likely to feel more tired than usual. It may also be painful for them to move around too much.

Social Detachment

Some dogs become clingier when they near the end of their lifespan. They likely won’t feel well and will look to their owners for comfort. With that said, this is somewhat rare. Most dogs seek out solitude and separate themselves from the family. Instead of seeking comfort they may hide somewhere or move to a secluded corner of your home and seem less social than usual.

You may also notice your furry friend will be sleeping in places in the house where they never did before. This is a very delicate moment.

Respect your dog’s desire for solitude. Approach and speak to him or her calmly when engaging.

Dogs still hold on to many of their old instincts from their wild days. Many try to hide the fact that they are infirm to protect themselves and their social standing in the pack. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for dogs to go under beds before they die and hide there.

Odd Breathing

When a dog is very close to death, their normal bodily functions may begin to shut down. This can cause them to breathe in an odd way. Your dog’s breathing may be very fast or very slow.

They may also simply have to work hard to move air in and out. They may breathe heavier or deeper than usual. They may even breathe louder more often than not. This is one of the last signs that develops when a dog is dying right before their death. Dogs will exhale one last big breath. Some will even vocalize it too.

Loss of Appetite

Changes In Appetite

Changes In Appetite

The lack of appetite is common at the end of life. Your dog may start eating less and may have a hard time finishing their daily food portion. A reduced appetite may also be a consequence of certain cancer treatments or terminal illness.

Healthy dogs want nothing more than some yummy treats but when a dog nears the end of their lifespan, even the tastiest treat won’t be interesting to them. You may also notice your furry friend will stop drinking water. This is because their organs are starting to shut down and your pet doesn’t feel the need to drink or eat.

You may even observe your dog vomiting bile as they will not have anything in their stomach. But remember, a loss of appetite isn’t always a sign of your dog’s impending death. Almost all diseases and even stress can cause a loss of appetite in dogs.

Provide smaller meals at appropriate frequencies; be sure to offer proper nutrition, but also feed what your dog takes interest in.

Weight Loss

As a consequence of not eating enough, you will notice a decrease in your dog’s weight. However, weight loss can also be commonly seen in senior dogs and will start well before the end of life. This is because as dogs get older their body becomes less efficient at digesting protein. This can be quite upsetting for dog owners and family members to witness.

Drastic weight loss can also be an indication that your dog is suffering from cancer. This is because cancer changes the way the body uses nutrients. Cancer cells consume lots of energy as they reproduce and spread. Behavioral changes as you might expect your furry friend probably isn’t feeling their best in the end of their lifespan. They could be in pain, sick, uncomfortable, and going through a lot of changes all at once.

This can lead them behaving differently. You may notice them becoming irritable, growling, or snapping at you when they would never do that before just like people get cranky when they are in pain. Your furry friend will have the same reaction. Each dog’s behavior is unique so it’s important to assess how their behavior and mannerisms have changed and in what period of time.

Reduced Body Temperature

As things progress and death is near, your dog’s body cools down and they lose the ability to control their own body temperature. Dog owners often notice cold paws and cooler breath. You can keep your furry friend comfortable during these times by using warm blankets, heated pads, and hot water bottles. Either way, make sure to monitor their temperature.

Their Gums Change Color

If your dog’s organs are no longer functioning properly, their gums may change color. If you see blue gums, it can indicate that there’s not enough oxygen in the dog’s blood. This can be caused by a problem with the lungs or heart. If you see bright red gums, it can be a sign of heat stroke. White or pale gums can be a sign of blood loss. Which might be caused by internal bleeding. A dry mouth can be remedied with assistance, but gum-color change is often a result of systemic failure.

However, each of these colors could also be a sign that a dog is close to death. Normal gums should generally be bubble gum pink color. When you press your dog’s gums with your finger, the gum should lighten to a pale pink or white color and when you take your finger away, they should return to normal pink color within two seconds.

Persistent Stomach Problems

As dogs get nearer to their final days, many may begin to develop stomach issues. You may notice that their digestive system is not functioning like it once did before.

You may also notice your dog’s appetite could be experiencing changes that could cause stomach problems. Some minor issues are minor like nausea, but others can throw up or get diarrhea.

These problems can occur in dogs that are not dying as well. These can be associated with many different diseases; not just death. If you notice your dog is experiencing gastrointestinal issues, it is best to take them to a vet to get professional advice on how to proceed.

Saying Goodbye To Your Furry Friend

As your furry friend is preparing to cross the rainbow bridge, the time you have left with them is as precious as it is limited. Your dog will benefit from your presence during this stressful time. It’s best that you as a loving pet parent, stay close, comfort him, and show compassion. Just being there in those last hours could mean the world to your furry friend.

It is important to remember that if your dog is suffering a lot of pain, assessing the option of euthanasia is humane. Make sure to discuss the process with your vet to determine whether this is the right choice for you and your furry friend. If your dog hates going to the vet, look into at-home euthanasia services to provide a peaceful end-of-life experience for your canine friend.

Tell your dog it is okay to go. Let them know that they are loved and that they have been your best friend and that they should go when they are ready. You should know that during the moment of and even after death a dog can vocalize, twitch muscles, and possibility eliminate. This is all natural as the muscles and organs of the body release for the last time. Dogs often jerk a few times and then let out a big breath before the body loses all tension.

This is the part of saying goodbye to your furry friend. When you are truly alone, some people let their tears flow and others are numb in this moment. It is the end of a journey together with a beloved family member.

Another tough decision is what to do with the body of the animal. Some owners make arrangements for their dog’s cremation or burial. Many vet clinics or animal funeral homes offer these services. Alternatively, if you want to keep your dog close to home, as well as your heart, you can choose to bury them in your own property or backyard.

Overcoming the death of a pet can be a long process which requires time and acceptance after a reasonable period of mourning. Whenever you’re ready you can consider adopting a new pet. There’s always one that needs a loving family and a good home.


As this is a difficult topic to talk about, but as dog owners, we must be ready at all times for the worst especially when it comes time for my pet to pass away.

By knowing some of the signs that were mentioned above, will help all family members to prepare for that day and grieve the loss.

Another big decision you must decide on is to make arrangements for the burial or cremation of your dog. We shared some valuable information on this subject and the options you have.

At some time, these are important decisions all dog owners will have to deal with and share with their family members. This is so all family members can say farewell to their furry friend.

And when the time is right, you can always get another pet to love.

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