The Common Signs That Your Dog’s End Is Near

Pet Care


May 23, 2022

Dogs are one of the most amazing, funny, and loyal pets out there. Nevertheless, the dogs age pretty quickly, but it can be challenging to tell their age.

Generally, the dogs tend to slow down with age, but it’s challenging to identify if the dog’s end is near. However, there are different signs and dog behaviors that become more evident before death.

Appetite Loss

One common dog behavior before death is the dog refusing to eat or when the dog becomes fussy about different food items. In addition, the dog is likely to lose its appetite when you are giving your dog some medication.

However, eating is still important, so you can order food with a stronger smell or warm up the food to enhance the flavor.

This is because these stronger smells and flavors can engage your dog’s senses. In addition, you should try giving smaller food portions to entice their interest. If these things don’t work, you can ask the vet to prescribe some appetite stimulants. On the other hand, if the dog is not eating because it’s feeling sick, the vet can provide medicines to reduce nausea.


In the case that your dog is pushing away the water bowl, it is a clear sign of illness. In such cases, you should start serving canned food or add water to the food to make sure your dog is always hydrated. If the dog is unable to drink water on its own, you can use an oral syringe or squirt bottle to meet its hydration needs.

In case of squirting, start with less amount of water and always use a clean syringe and water bottle. This is because hygiene is important to prevent infections. This is an important consideration because dehydration can worsen the dog’s condition.

Drastic Weight Loss

Weight loss is usually accompanied by loss of appetite, and it’s actually a common part of their aging process. In particular, drastic weight loss is associated with senior dogs who are unable to digest proteins. In addition, weight loss can accelerate when the dog starts aging or has some serious illness. In such cases, you should feed easy-to-digest protein.

For this purpose, you can opt for lamb, beef, chicken, and eggs. In addition, the meat derived from the liver, heart, and kidney is easily digestible.


Lethargy is one of the most common signs that your dog’s end is near. This is because the dogs will start sleeping more and will try to cut off from the activities that they liked before.

For instance, the dog will say no to walks and playtime. To help your dog, you can purchase comfortable bedding and fuzzy blankets for the dog to make sure your dog rests well.

Poor Coordination & Less Mobility

Poor coordination and less mobility are pretty common among senior dogs, and these conditions only worsen with age. These changes tend to be gradual. For instance, the dogs will start walking instead of running and will start stumbling.

In addition, they might slip on the non-carpeted surfaces or won’t be able to jump around. They may experience difficulty trying to climb the stairs.

In various cases, the mobility issue is caused by declining vision and arthritis. If your dog is struggling with mobility, make sure the dog’s water bowl and food bowl are easy to access. In addition, you can invest in dog socks to prevent slipping. On the other hand, if your dog is small, you can opt for a dog sling for carrying it when it’s unable to walk.


When the dogs are near death time, they will isolate themselves from other pets as well as humans. However, some dogs also start needing more attention. So, if your dog is isolated, you must give them space and be calm around them.

On the contrary, you can give some TLC if they are being clingy. In simpler words, you have to keep your eyes out for unusual changes in their behavior.

Insufficient Bowel & Bladder Control

The loss of control of the bowel and bladder is another sign that your dog’s end is near, and it only worsens with time. Some dogs will start pooping and peeing uncontrollably while walking, but some of them might have bathroom incidents during sleep. This issue can be frustrating and upsetting for the dog as well because your dog doesn’t mean to spoil your home.

For this reason, you should not yell at them or punish them because it will make them even more stressed. Furthermore, you can ask the veterinarian to prescribe medication for controlling the situation.

Irregular Temperature

The aged and senior dogs are more susceptible to irregular temperature. In simpler words, the dogs will either become too cold or too hot, and the body temperature won’t be regulated. If you are living in warm surroundings, the dog’s resting place should be shaded, and it must have easier access to water.

On the other hand, if you are living in cold regions, the dog must have a warm blanket and bedding. Also, if possible, have your dog rest under the sun for a few hours.

Abnormal Breathing & Odor

Irregular breathing and difficulty breathing are other signs that your dog is struggling. In the majority of cases, the dog will start breathing with an open mouth or take pauses while breathing. Honestly, this can be extremely painful for the dog, and it’s suitable to take your dog to the veterinarian for breathing support.

Secondly, the dog’s body will stop functioning optimally, which results in malfunctioning metabolism. This metabolism issue will lead to changed body odors.

Poor Response to Medication

When a dog’s body starts wearing out, it will stop responding to medications and treatments that were previously helping. For instance, a diabetic dog will start requiring unlimited insulin doses, and dogs with arthritis will need more pain medications.


Brain and kidney issues can result in seizures, and the seizures become more evident when the dog is breathing his last breath. So, if your dog is experiencing a seizure, you should consult the vet to determine suitable treatment and potential underlying issues. Also, if the dog is getting multiple seizures in a day and if the seizures last for more than two minutes, it’s an emergency situation.

Dull Eyes

The dog’s eyes will start changing as it starts nearing the end of its life. In the majority of cases, the dog’s eyes become dull and glassy. However, you should always get the dogs’ eyes checked by the veterinarian to make sure you aren’t ignoring some serious eye problems.

The Bottom Line

It can be extremely difficult and emotionally draining to see your dog breathe his last breath. Honestly, there is not much that you can do about it, so just take your dog to the vet to alleviate these symptoms. Lastly, just be with your dog and let him rest.