How do you know if a dog is going to die? – 8 Symptoms

Death is never something easy to accept, however, it is a process that all living beings and this, even those who have a good longevity. If you have at your side an old dog, sick or experiencing unusual symptoms and you suspect that he can go to the left quickly, you may be interested in this article from PlanèteAnimal How to know if a dog is going to die in which we will present to you 5 symptoms of a dog at the end of life.

Faced with any of the symptoms that we are going to tell you about, don’t forget that it will be essential to take your dog to the vet, whether it is to establish a diagnosis, to give you advice on care or simply to provide you with help on how to manage your dog at the end of his life.

What are the symptoms of a dying dog?

Symptoms of a dying dog are:

  • He refuses to go outside
  • He has abnormal behavior
  • A dog at the end of his life sees his heart rate drop,
  • He breathes badly
  • His body temperature is altered
  • Its capillary refill time is affected
  • He doesn’t want to eat or drink water anymore.
  • He doesn’t want to move

To learn more about these symptoms, we invite you to continue reading our new article How to know if a dog is going to die.

How do you know if a dog is going to die? - What are the symptoms of a dog at the end of its life?

1. He doesn’t want to go outside anymore.

Over the years, older dogs decrease their level of physical activity and it is possible that they start not wanting to leave the house at all. However, if until now your dog has never said no to a short walk and he begins to reject this activity which he liked, it is that he may, unfortunately, be at the end of his life.

The fact that your dog refuses his walk does not necessarily mean that he is close to death because it may be a psychological pregnancy or a pathology which weakens him and prevents him from wanting to go outside. In any case it is a symptom to be taken into account, it will be very important that you bring him to the veterinarian.

How do you know if a dog is going to die? - 1. He doesn't want to go outside anymore

2. He behaves abnormally

The sick animals, or those near death, behaving oddly, and some “strange” behavior can help us identify a problem. You may begin to observe behavioral problems related to his state of mind, such as fears, aggressive behaviors or strange body movements.

You may also see the appearance of incontinence, vomiting, diarrhea or other problems.

3. His vital constants are altered

From different symptoms of a dying dog we will find, of course, an alteration of the vital constants. Dehydration, excessive panting, abnormal temperature or altered heart rate are all symptoms of a dying dog.

Below the vital constants of a healthy dog :

  • Body temperature : from 38 ºC and 39 ºC.
  • Respiratory rate : 10 to 30 breaths per minute.
  • Cardiac frequency : 90 to 140 beats per minute for small dogs, 70 to 110 beats per minute for medium dogs and 60 to 90 beats per minute for large dogs. These values ​​are a referent for the constants of a dog at rest. If your cardiac dog is at the end of its life, you will see an alteration in these values.
  • Capillary refill time: capillary refill time can be identified by pressing lightly on the dog’s mucous membranes. You need to analyze how long they take to recover their normal color. Pressure is usually applied to the mucous membranes of the mouth (gums) and the filling time should be less than 2 seconds.

If you observe an alteration in your dog’s vital constants, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible. If you want to learn more about heart failure, it’s here: Heart Failure in Dogs – Treatment, Symptoms

How do you know if a dog is going to die? - 3. His vital constants are altered

4. He doesn’t want to eat or drink water anymore.

appetite is an unmistakable symptom of a dog’s good health, so you understand that if your best friend begins to refuse to eat, and even his favorite wet food, you must suspect that something is wrong. It is also possible that he stops drinking water, but he you will have to force him to hydrate.

As a consequence of the dehydration and lack of food, we will begin to see him throw up bile and his organs begin to fail, causing him serious pain and causing him to reject us.

5. He doesn’t want to move anymore

If you see your dog is all groggy and hurting in a corner of the house and that in addition he shows all the symptoms that we have just mentioned, it is most certainly possible that your dog is at the end of its life. This is a very delicate moment, so we recommend that you provide him with a convenient place where he can rest, a pleasant environment and you will need to pay a lot of attention to him at all times. It is essential that he feels accompanied.

How do you know if a dog is going to die? - 5. He does not want to move

What if a dog is dying?

If you suspect that your dog is dying and that he is also showing all or some of the symptoms we mentioned during our article, do not hesitate for a second. and quickly call your veterinarian. If these symptoms can indicate that a dog is dying, they are also symptoms of various pathologies that can only be detected by a veterinarian.

In addition, the specialist will help you make the best decision. You must remember that in some cases, such as when your animal is in a lot of pain, euthanasia is not to be excluded because it will aim to relieve it of its pain.

If he considers that this is not the best option for your dog, he will also help to provide him with the best care so that he can end his life in dignity and with those he loves. It will probably be necessary for you to help him eat, drink and even urinate.

How do you know if a dog is going to die? - What if a dog is dying?

Does a dog feel he is going to die?

Dogs are not strictly speaking aware of death, they live their life enjoying the present moments, the concepts of future and past are human concepts. However, unlike human beings, everything about their behavior leads us to think that they have understood a lesson that Man seems to have forgotten, the only important thing; it’s life and they protect theirs and that of their loved one with all the aggressiveness of a gladiator.

After, to know if a dog feels that he is going to die, or not, we have only our observation which allows us to arrive at a deduction, and it is true that a dog who does not feel well will generally go either seek the help of his guardian or he will hide because he knows he is injured and unable to defend himself.

What if my dog ​​is dead?

The death of a dog is one of the moments the most sad and painful for all your guardians. It will then be necessary to decide what to do with the body of the animal.

If your dog dies at the vet clinic they will likely advise you to cremate the dog’s body either alone or with those of other recently dead dogs. If your dog died at home, you can call your veterinarian to go through the same process, but you can also get in touch with an animal funeral home (a generally more economical option).

Don’t forget that you will also have to notify the appropriate authorities of your dog’s death.


Is it possible to overcome the death of a pet? It is a long-term process that requires time, acceptance and grieving. Although many people cannot understand it, what is certain is that dogs and human beings create a very strong bond that can even happen to be more intense than that between human beings.

What we can recommend to you is that once you feel ready to have an animal by your side again, you must adopt a dog that needs it. An abandoned animal from a shelter or a stray dog ​​will be the happiest in the world by your side.

How do you know if a dog is going to die? - What if my dog ​​is dead?

If our article How to know if a dog is going to die If you liked it, we recommend the following links:

This article is purely informative, on PlanèteAnimal we do not have the skills to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to take your animal to the veterinarian if it shows symptoms of fever or illness.

If you want to read more articles like How do you know if a dog is going to die?we recommend that you consult the Other health problems section.


  1. Tami Gabriella, Vital constants in los perros, Affinity 2016

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