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How Do I Know if My Dog is Dying or Just Sick 

Diagnosing how do I know if my dog is dying or just sick is the most heart-breaking thing for the dog’s owner.  Dog’s lifespan is too much short than humans, and rarely a few breeds can live up to 20 years. Our dog is like a family member; people love and care for their dog like a child. When your puppy shows such symptoms before moving on, it may be the worst perception for the owner.  

If your dog is old, sick, or poorly injured, you must prepare for unpleasant things.  

It is not easy for us to share such things, but you must know the signs of a dog is dying that indicate various things, so let’s see the following information and some helping points that can help you and your dog. 

In This Article

  1. How Do I Know if My Dog is Dying or Just Sick 
  2. How long does it take a dog to die Naturally
  3. My dog is dying what I can give him for pain
  4. Dog is dying: Dos and Don’t

How Do I Know if My Dog is Dying or Just Sick 

Some of the things that might indicate that your dog is dying or just sick include:

How Do I Know if My Dog is Dying

1. Lack of interest  

Most pet owners notice their dog gets socially detached and lacks interest in their daily routine, like playing with their favorite toys and waiting for you at the door. 

As death comes closer, your dog becomes physically and mentally isolated, and you can notice this in their eyes, and detachment may increase daily.   

2. Depression 

Yes, your dog knows well about his upcoming death, and it makes him depressed and disappointed sign for you. Depression can lead to lack of energy, isolation, irritability, and lack of appetite, so take a look at the dog’s behavior before death

If the dog is too old and near to die, these signs will appear. However, some medicines can help to reduce depression symptoms but not death.   

3. Incontinence 

Incontinence is a vital signs of a dying dog and a sign of aging. If the canine lost his control over the bladder process, you must see the vet for proper diagnosis.[Source]

4. Changes in Breathing 

When your puppy is near death, you may notice the odd changes in his breathing pattern. Sometimes it can be slow or fast, just like humans. 

Your dog may feel excess trouble while inhaling and exhaling. You must call the vet immediately.  

5. Excess Lethargy 

Lethargy can be common, and your dog becomes lethargic due to a lack of energy and not eating well. You may notice the dog sleeping more than usual and not showing any interest in physical or mental activity.  

6. Changes in Appetite 

Decreased appetite is also a sign of death and is noticed in sick dogs, especially when they have cancer. Lack of appetite before dying is natural as the body needs no energy. 

Your dog may feel gastrointestinal issues and changes in their meal portions are a common sign that something is wrong.  

7. Weight Loss

Your fluffy buddy can lose excess weight before dying, which is also natural due to not eating properly. It may be very upsetting to see him thin and weak as a pet owner.  

8. Dropped Body Temperature 

Most dogs near death lose the ability to control their body temperature, and they have a lower body temperature. If the climate is already cold, the dog may feel excess cold. 

Just monitor your dog’s body temperature and call the vet if needed.  

9. Changes in Gum color 

The dog’s health has been recognized by gum health, and when it comes to saying goodbye forever to your dog, you must check its gum. If the gums look pale or white with spots, it indicates dehydration and dryness as well as a prior sign of death. 

10. Vomiting 

Dogs that are seriously sick and near to that feel disturbed digestion, vomiting, and nausea. Things can worsen when the dog is not eating well, vomiting water, and immediate consultation are required.  

11. Twitching and Trembling 

Twitching and trembling are natural in dying dogs as they are weak and tired and haven’t the energy to walk. Dying dogs mostly lose mobility, and they need your help.  

How long does it take a dog to die Naturally?

Well, no proper prediction can be made when death will come. If the vet informs you about the seriousness of the dog’s condition, it may take a few hours or days. 

You must prepare yourself for that. Sometimes it happens peacefully, and your dog doesn’t suffer a lot.  

My Dog is dying what I can give him for Pain

You must stay close to your dog, and you can help him to ease up the pain. Just talk briefly with your vet, and there are pain-reliever medicines available that can relieve pain. 

Many dog owners can’t see their best friend in tremendous pain, so they choose a euthanizing process that a professional vet can perform.  

Choosing between natural deaths or euthanizing is a very tough decision as an owner. You’ll have to prepare yourself first mentally. 

Euthanizing is a painless process of sedation of peaceful death, and your dog feels nothing due to unconsciousness within a few seconds. At least your buddy can die without any pain and rest in peace. 

Some sleeping pills also work to make your dog sleep forever; well, it sounds heartbreaking, but the decision is only yours. 

Take care of yourself and your family members

Always remember that death is a part of our life, and everybody must leave this earth. Try to calm down and talk with your family. 

Try to maintain your routine and choose some creative ideas to dedicate your love and care to your buddy. 

Losing a pet is very hard, but as time passes, things get normal. 

Dog is dying: Dos and Don’t

  • Don’t introduce your dog to new places. If he is not well, try to stay close to him. 
  • Stay in regular contact with the vet. 
  • Show more love and care to your dog. It will ease his pain and sadness. 
  • If your dog is dying at home, help your buddy for his comfort and maintain proper hygiene.  

Sick Dog warning signs

In Closing

As a dog owner, this article on how do I know if my dog is dying or just sick would be like a nightmare for you, but you must understand that we are trying to help as we know and care about your feelings and bonding with your pup. 

Death is a journey and lets your dog complete it beautifully as he has spent the whole life with you without complaint. 

If you ever lose a pet, please share your experience with us and how you come over of the grief so others can also learn from you.   

Read Also: Home Remedies for Rabies in Human


  1. The death of my dog: lessons learned from the palliative care of an animal
  2. Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) grieve over the loss of a conspecific
  3. Pet Loss and Representations of Death, Attachment, Depression, and Euthanasia

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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