Signs Your Dog May Be Dying And What You Can Do To Help

by Robert Fox

The death of a loved one is never an easy experience. Your pet has become a vital part of your family. We all know that there's nothing that could ever change the bond that you share and there's nothing that can compare to the companionship of your dog.

Sometimes it's hard to cope with the fact that your pet may be terminally ill or dying of natural causes, but it's a serious matter you must face. Regardless if you choose for your dog to die naturally in your home or you choose euthanasia, this is going to be a tough time for your family.

We are going to discuss the various signs that your beloved dog may be ready to leave his body as well as if you do choose to consider euthanasia.

My Dog Is Dying What Do I Do
My Dog Is Dying What Do I Do

Signs That Your Dog Is Dying

Signs That Your Dog Is Dying
Signs That Your Dog Is Dying
  • He will start showing signs of constant fatigue. Your dog may become less mobile. He will be less playful. He may stay in one place for extended periods of time and may not even be able to lift his head.
  • He will have a loss of appetite. He will eat and drink plenty less than usual. Towards the end, he may not eat at all.
  • His coordination will be impaired. He will be unstable on his feet
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Dying
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Dying

• He will have incontinence. He will have the inability to let you know that he needs to go outside. All his muscles are breaking down, including his muscles dealing with bathroom issues. The closer he is to death, he will have bloody diarrhea with a different odor than you're accustomed to.

• He may start throwing up. His vomit will contain bile so that it will be frothy or yellow colored.

• He will start acting confused, possibly erratic. His brain functions will become impaired so he may be unsure of his everyday environment and he may not recognize you.

• The closer he is to his passing, the shallower his breathing will become.

• He will show no signs of interest to what is going on around him.

• Some dogs will want to be by your side constantly, but more often than not, he will go into hiding. That is to protect himself from external elements because he knows he is getting weaker, it is also most common if you have multiple dogs.

• He may become restless. He won't be able to get comfortable in any position.

• He may have involuntary muscle spasms and random twitches. He will lose his reflexes.

How to Help Your Dog to Pass On

If you decide to let your best companion die naturally, there are ways you can accommodate him during this process. Dying is a more natural process for dogs, but they can still be afraid. They aren't much different from you and me in that way.

Find a friendly, cozy area away from distractions for him. When he stops eating, do not force him to eat. His organs are failing and eating will only cause extreme nausea. I know it's tough, but you must be there to comfort him. Pet him and reassure him that everything will be all right. Be soothing.


Believe it or not, it has been shown that this reassurance from his best friend helps his suffering. In most cases, he will pass on more quickly.

You can tell he has passed away once you observe that blank stare of death in his eyes. His body will relax, and his breathing will have stopped. He will lose complete control of his bodily functions at this time. It may help you if you close their eyes. For some, it can be haunting to see that look of loss.

If You Choose Euthanasia

Euthanasia is the choice of ending your dog's life medically to end his suffering. There is a debate about whether euthanasia is immoral, but it is something you may want to discuss with your family members.

Quite a few families decide on euthanasia to end their dog's suffering, especially if the dog is in persistent pain. If you make this decision, you may want to get all your loved ones to say goodbye. This helps children to cope with the grief.

Euthanasia At Home For Dog
Euthanasia At Home For Dog

Some vets will offer to do this in your home but more than likely it will take place at the vet. Your vets will exam your dog to see if it is the better choice. Bring your dog's bed or favorite blanket. It will make him comfortable during this process. Most choose to have a close companion there while the vet injects the euthanasia medication, but some may decide that it is too much for them to watch. There are no correct decisions. Your vet will talk you through the process. If your dog is frightened, your vet may offer sedatives.

Conclusion on Signs That Your Dog Is Dying


There are occasions that we wish for our pets to outlive us. Unfortunately, that's not the reality. You need to be aware of the signs and the decisions you need to make during this difficult time.

About Robert Fox

Rob Fox is a former hydro worker who used to teach self defence in Miami for 10 years. He's currently enjoying his retirement, playing cribbage and golf with his buddies, locksmithing and home security in his spare time. Rob is an avid reader, and has even written a few books on the subject of self defence.

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