How does a dog behave before dying? Here’s What to Do Next

End-of-Life Care: How to Make Your Dog’s Last Days Comfortable

It can be so difficult to say goodbye to your dog, but there are things you can do as a loving pet parent to make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible and show them continuous acts of care and compassion near the end of their life.

  • Keep him warm. Provide a comfortable bed and a cozy resting spot.
  • Make sure he has palatable food, such as canned food or some plain cooked chicken mixed in with his kibble. If he is supposed to be on a prescription diet but hates it, this is the time to let him eat whatever he wants.
  • Keep him company or leave him alone depending on his preferences.
  • Stick to your usual routines as much as possible so your dog has a schedule that he is familiar with and enjoys. If long walks are no longer an option, spend that time sitting together instead.
  • Consult with your veterinarian about medications to alleviate your dogs symptoms. These could range from pain medications to appetite stimulants and beyond. Since you are thinking in the short term, maximum comfort is more important than the risk of long-term side effects.
  • Make a plan for your dogs end-of-life care. If you opt for euthanasia, discuss with your vet the logistics of making an appointment (most hospitals try to schedule euthanasia appointments at the beginning or end of the day so you can have more privacy). If your dog hates going to the vet, look into at-home pet euthanasia services or ask about an oral sedative to give beforehand to make the process less stressful. Decide whether you want to bury him or have him cremated.
  • Tell your dog it is okay to go. Let him know that he is loved and that he has been your best friend, and that he can go when he is ready.
  • When Is It “Time” to Put Your Dog to Sleep?

    Many dog owners will witness only the early signs of dying and may elect euthanasia. Some dog owners who elect hospice, palliative, or end-of-life care under the guidance of a veterinarian will witness the more advanced changes which often take place when death is imminent.

    Many dog owners wonder when it is “time” for their best friend to pass. The truth is, nobody knows this—we cannot determine our dogs life expectancy. We can only make an educated guess based on how the dog is feeling and which signs are being displayed.

    Many vets suggest judging a dogs quality of life based on whether or not your dog experiences more bad days than good. There are vets now specializing in hospice care who can also offer quality of life consultations.

    Early Signs a Dog Is Dying

  • Lethargy
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Social Detachment
  • 10 Critical Signs that Indicates Your Dog is Dying

    Theres a subtle difference in a dogs behavior when they are past the point of struggling to overcome illness or injury and are about to die. Learning what happens to a dogs body when they die and how to tell when those final moments have arrived can help you prepare and provide your dog with love, comfort, and dignity as they leave this earth.