Signs that a dog is going to die

Updated March 23, 2017

It is important for dog owners to recognise signs that a dog is going to die. There's always the chance that you may have enough time to seek treatment if you spot symptoms early on. Of course, even if you're not able to save the animal, you will still be able to give your dog all the comfort and attention it deserves during the final stages of its life. Keep an eye on your pet to see if you notice any of the primary signs of sickness and death for dogs.

Eating Habits

Keep track of your dog's eating habits. One of the main signs that something is wrong is decreased appetite. Your dog may show a difficulty swallowing or a complete lack of interest in eating and drinking.

Bodily Functions

Another sign of a dying dog is the loss of control of bodily functions. Dogs that are going to die sometimes vomit, defecate and urinate with great frequency. Vomiting, diarrhoea and uncontrolled urination are all symptoms of an ill dog. Get your pet checked immediately by the veterinarian and set up some sort of comfortable kennel or crate where the pet can rest without soiling the house.


Dying dogs often display difficulty with movement. They may suffer a loss of coordination and basic strength, causing them to limp or wobble when they move around. Lethargy and excessive sleeping also fall into this category. If it seems like your dog does nothing but lie around instead of moving about like it used to, chances are something is wrong.


One last sign that a dog is going to die is a reclusive attitude. Dogs that are dying often tend to be less responsive to affection and more solitary in their habits. For instance, instead of sleeping at the foot of the bed the dog may start hiding in the closet or behind a chair. Dying animals usually have a den-instinct that urges them to seek quiet and private places to be alone in their final stage of life. This doesn't mean your pet doesn't love you anymore. It's just a natural response that typically comes when a dog is close to the end.

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About the Author

David Thyberg began his writing career in 2007. He is a professional writer, editor and translator. Thyberg has been published in various newspapers, websites and magazines. He enjoys writing about social issues, travel, music and sports. Thyberg holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College with a certificate in Spanish and Latin American studies.