Why does my old dog smell like death? Here’s What to Expect

Do dogs want to be alone when they die?

His instinct is to isolate himself for protection. Dogs listen to their bodies which is one reason he hides when he is dying. He knows he is weakened and unable to protect himself, which makes him incredibly vulnerable to predators.

Why Do Dogs Smell Before Death?

While your dog’s strange odor might be a result of a different diet, rolling around in something outside, or other health problems, sometimes you are just smelling your dog’s death. Especially in older dogs, failure in the liver or kidneys commonly emits a different smell to the one you are familiar with. This odor is usually not unpleasant, just different from the usual.

In dogs with cancer, the smell of rotting tissue inside the body usually releases distinctive smells. There are some signs that go with this dog smell, whether your pooch is suffering from a disease or simply old age. When sleep is the main task during your dog’s days and you see a change in behavior, such as withdrawal, you might begin to smell this odor.

In the days before death, your pet’s organs will begin to deteriorate and eventually dissolve. The body and the organs start shutting down, which often leads to significant weight loss even when you feed your dog. This process happens faster in some dogs, and you might not notice it happening. This deterioration also explains a reduction in strength and energy in your dog.

Another factor that adds to your dog’s distinctive smell before death is the lack of liquids that your dog consumes when it is close to death. This natural process means your dog will eat and drink less and will develop a very dry, sticky mouth and throat. Depending on your scenario, your mutt might have diarrhea or throw up any food it consumes, which also adds to the smell that you might sense before death.

How Do I Know It Is Time?

Most owners know in their gut when their dogs are ready to pass on, but it can be an extremely difficult realization.

  • Keep track of your dogs good days and bad days. Occasional bad days are a part of life, but there will come a point when the bad days outnumber the happy, comfortable ones.
  • Note whether or not your dog still enjoys his favorite things. Does he wag his tail when you rub his face? Does he try to play with his toys or sniff the grass on walks? Does he gulp down his favorite treats?
  • Talk over what you are seeing with your friends, family, and veterinarian. These people are your support system and can act as a sounding-board for you as you evaluate your dogs comfort. And talk to your dog too. While it may sound silly at first, we know our dogs and our dogs know us. Hold him and pet him and talk it over. Your dog just might tell you when he is ready.

    Why Does My Old Dog’s Breath Smell Like Rotten Meat?

    Death is a part of life as much as birth, although that does not make coping with your dog’s death any easier. A dog will often emit a smell in the days before it eventually passes away, although you might not notice it right away. Many dog owners describe this smell as being different rather than putrid or strong. The smell of your dog does not always mean death, however, and can indicate a variety of issues.