Signs your dog is dying

When your dog is dying, you may see subtle or obvious changes in your dog's behaviour. All dog owners should be attuned to their dog's health and behaviour, but owners of older dogs should watch for changes in their dog's diet, sleeping habits, weight and mental state.

Eating Habits

Loss of appetite may happen gradually or nearly all at once. Given time, your dog may also stop drinking water.

General Slowing Down

Your dog will begin to react more slowly to the world around him. Physical activities such as walking, raising his head and wagging his tail will become slower. Your dog overall will seem weak and distant.

He may show less interest in visitors and become less excited about things that once stimulated him. Your dog may spend more time sitting, lying down or just resting. Your dog may even spend most of his time sleeping.

Slowing down is not always a symptom of dying, as this will happen naturally as your dog ages. However, if your dog is going through the dying process, this will be a more pronounced change.


Your dog may go through periods of confusion, incontinence and restlessness.

Distressed Breathing

Your dog may pant or breath irregularly.

Time Frame

The average lifespan of a dog can vary from 8 to 18 years of age. Dying, however, may take only hours or days.

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About the Author

Leslie Rose has been a freelance writer publishing with Demand Studios since 2008. In addition to her work as a writer, she is an accomplished painter and experienced art teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a minor in English.