12 Signs A Dog Is Dying

The worst nightmare coming true would probably be losing dogs as family members.

Unfortunately, our dogs do not have an endless lifespan.

The lifespan of a dog varies depending on several unique elements, including breed, size, the effects of the environment, and genetics.

Recognizing the signs of a soon-dying dog will help pet owners be prepared for that inevitable moment.

If you love your dog, please read this article to learn about 12 signs a dog is dying.

It’s crucial to remember that those symptoms could also signify something else, like a problem with your dog’s health.

Talking to your veterinarian about your dog’s health is essential for this reason.

Even so, if you notice that your dog’s health declines.

Bowels Or Bladder Lose Control

old dark dog standing on grass

As they age, many dogs frequently lose control of their bowels or bladder.

Since our dogs naturally don’t want to soil the house, losing bladder or bowel control can upset them.

Some dogs may urinate or defecate while sleeping, while others may trickle urine while moving without being seen.

Being critical of your pet for these mishaps will make them more anxious and distressed, so always act compassionately.

It can help to take certain medications and go outside more frequently.

Incontinence frequently gets worse as a dog gets closer to the end of its life.

Your dog is reluctant to leave the house and dogs lose muscle mass in dog’s final days.

A dog will become less mobile as it gets close to passing away.

No Longer Want To Walk

Your dog might eventually lose their balance or coordination and cannot maintain a standing position.

The dog might even cease wanting to go for walks when its legs begin to give up.

Changes in mobility frequently start abruptly, with the dog trotting after a tennis ball instead of running, and progress over time to include the dog being unable to jump onto the couch, having difficulty using stairs or slick floors, and having difficulty rising from a nap.

Making sure your dog’s water and food bowls are simple to reach and keeping them close to where they spend most of their time will help.

No Interest Anymore

old grey dog lying on the ground looking sad

A dog’s interest in the world around them and a dog’s life and their concern for the things they usually take an interest in can start to wane as they approach the end of their existence.

Excessive social withdrawal.

That is because your dog can feel more exhausted than usual, and moving around might hurt them.

They might not have the energy to leap up to welcome you at the door or wag their tail when you tease them with their favorite toy, and their favorite toys will begin to collect dust.

Become More Clingy

When they get close to the end of their lives, some dogs could start to cling more.

They’ll probably feel under the weather and turn to their owners for comfort with that set.

That is not common at all.

Most dogs prefer to be alone and avoid being around people.

Instead of looking for solace, they might hide somewhere or relocate to a quiet area of your house and appear much less pleasant than usual.

Additionally, you might notice that your dog begins to sleep in previously unoccupied areas of the house.

It’s a pretty delicate time right now.

Many of the basic instincts from their wilder days are still present in dogs.

Many people will attempt to conceal the fact that they are disabled to safeguard themselves and their place within their pack.

It’s not unusual for a beloved family pet to hide his irregular breathing under their beds before the dog passes away.

Body Processes Terminate

grey dark dog lying on towel

A dog’s body may start to shut down when it is incredibly near to naturally passing away.

Dogs become difficulty breathing and they may begin to breathe strangely as a result of this.

Dog’s breathing may become extremely quickly or very slowly

To move air in and out, they can also just have to exert much effort.

They could breathe more forcefully or deeply than usual.

Even breathe more loudly – lot of the time.

That is one of the final symptoms that appears as a dog passes away.

Dogs will breathe out.


Some dogs might get highly anxious and restless as the pet passes soon away.

They can be unable to sit still or may pace back and forth.

That might be the result of discomfort or physical pain.

Changes in their brain may occasionally bring it on.

Some dogs may experience specific cognitive changes as they age, much like people with Alzheimer’s.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction is the name of this condition.

They can be up all night pacing and restless, or they might forget how to go potty usually and have accidents within the house.

Certain drugs and nutrients may help some dogs with these symptoms stay relaxed.

Along with the prescription drug Selegiline, melatonin, S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe), and other supplements may occasionally be helpful.

Even special prescription foods are available for canines exhibiting signs of cognitive dysfunction.

If you believe these treatments or foods would benefit your dog, consult your vet.

Dog Stops Eating

dog sniffs on food bowl does not eat from it

At the end of life, nausea is a regular occurrence.

Your dog can start eating less and struggle to finish its recommended daily amount.

Another side effect of several cancer therapies or medications for terminal conditions is a decreased appetite.

Even the most delicious goodies won’t appeal to a dog nearing the end of its lifespan; healthy canines just cannot get enough tasty treats.

Your dog may stop drinking water, which you will probably notice.

That is because your pet doesn’t need to drink or eat.

After all, its organs are beginning to shut down.

Dogs with almost any illness or even under stress may lose their appetite.

The dog may even start vomiting bile if they don’t have anything to eat.

But remember that losing the appetite isn’t always a clue that your dog is about to pass away.

Stops Drinking

Dogs may stop drinking altogether.

They may not have the energy or feel queasy from the water in their stomach.

Your dog’s kidneys may suffer severe damage if it goes without water for longer than a couple of days.

Try to keep fresh water close by; you may even provide it to them by holding a dish in front of them frequently to get your dog hydrated.

You may now add a small amount of Gatorade to the water to improve the flavor and promote drinking.

Make sure it doesn’t include any Xylitol or other artificial sweeteners.

Providing your dog with canned, wet food can also be beneficial because it contains more moisture than kibble, aiding in hydration.

Loss Of Weight

old grey dog lying on dirty ground looking sad

You’ll notice your dog losing weight if they don’t eat enough, but older dogs are also prone to weight loss, which usually begins before death.

That is because as dogs age, their bodies become less effective.

In addition to being unpleasant for dog owners to see dramatic weight loss, this protein can also signify that your dog has cancer.

That is because cancer alters how the body uses nutrients and cancer cells use a lot of energy to reproduce and spread.

Your beloved pet probably isn’t feeling its best toward the end of its life, as you might anticipate.

They might be experiencing many changes at once, including pain, illness, discomfort, and discomfort.

That may cause them to act differently, become agitated, growl, or snap at you when they previously wouldn’t.

Your dog will act out the same way people do when they are in pain.

Because each dog behaves differently, it’s critical to determine how and when their behavior and mannerisms have changed.


Toward the end of their lives, some dogs may start having seizures.

Metabolic abnormalities, kidney disease, or issues with the brain can all cause this.

The most crucial thing you can do for your dog during a seizure is to keep them away from hazards like stairs and jagged objects where it could damage itself.

Till it passes, he holds their head gently and reassures them.


Dogs who are nearing the end of their lives can endure acute bewilderment.

They might aimlessly explore the home or become disoriented in the backyard.

There may be times when you believe your loved ones are not recognized.

With a perplexed dog, exercise patience, caution, and kindness.

Because they are confused and afraid, they may suddenly nip or growl.

Lowered Core Temperature

Your dog’s body temperature cools down as time goes on, and death ultimately approaches, and they lose the ability to manage their bodies.

Owners of temperature frequently observe cold pauses and more relaxed breaths.

You can keep your dog uncomfortable by using warm blankets, heated pads, and hot water bottles during these times.

In either case, keep an eye on their temperature and the color of their gums.

Your dog’s gums may alter if its organs are no longer functioning correctly.

Blue gums may indicate that a dog’s blood lacks sufficient oxygen.

A heart or lung condition may be the root of this.

Gums that are bright red may indicate heat.

Gums that are pale or entirely white may indicate blood loss from underlying hemorrhage.

Each of these hues, nevertheless, can also suggest that a dog is on the verge of passing away.

Normal gums should typically be pink, like bubble gum.

When you press the gum with your finger, it should turn a light pink or white color.

The gum should quickly revert to its original pink color after you remove your finger.

grey dog mouth from near

If My Dog Is Dying, Why Does He Or She Act Fine?

As can be seen, death typically happens after several milestones, and the dog dying process can be very different.

However, not all dogs will halt at each one.

While some canines may skip or get through them quickly, others might take months to reach their destination.

It’s crucial to understand that none, some, or all of the changes mentioned above might not be visible.

There are no inflexible laws.

Death is a personal experience.

That means some dogs may be sluggish, lose interest, get dog depression and sleep for extended periods in their final weeks; others may be active, eating, and up and about until death.

Some dog owners report a surge of energy a few days before a dog’s death.

The dog suddenly walks or eats and appears to have more power.

As pleasant as this perking up may be, it’s often short-lived and not a sign of getting better; instead, it’s often a sign of nearing death—the signs of dying return and are often more pronounced.

Before You Go…

Now you know the signs a dog is dying.

If you want to learn more, read the following article too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.