The first day that you spend with your dog is like a dream come true, as is every moment you share together thereafter. However, the cycle of life rolls on, and your dog will eventually get sick. As much as everyone wants to skip that part, you have to be prepared, and be there for them in their darkest hours.
When your dog is acting differently, you may get confused as to whether they’re just sick or they’re knocking on death’s door. No matter which case you suspect it may be, you should bring your pet to the vet clinic right away to obtain a proper diagnosis. The following are some common signs of a dog dying – or simply falling ill – that you should know about:
- Loss of Interest
As your dog ages, they show a loss of interest in things that usually make them happy. They may no longer run happily towards you every time you call their name, or ignore their favorite ball when you toss it in their direction; they’re also no longer interested in chasing other dogs when you take them for a walk.
- Reduced Appetite
If your dog is a happy eater and you notice a pronounced decrease in appetite for a few days, you should immediately be alarmed and bring them to the vet. It could be a sign of old age, or discomfort due to an illness.
You can help to increase your dog’s appetite by hand-feeding, and see if they respond. You should consider switching to softer foods if they’re experiencing discomfort when they chew. If they still refuse to eat, a trip to the vet won’t hurt.
- Stops Drinking
Always observe your dog’s water intake, as it’s one of the major indicators of illness and death. They may refuse to drink, as they don’t have the energy to do so. They may also become nauseous when they feel the water sloshing around in their belly. If your dog refuses to drink water for more than two or three days, their kidney health may be at risk.
To help them out, always leave a bowl of fresh water right beside them. Try to provide water regularly, by holding the bowl out in front of them. If they still refuse to drink, then you may want to add a natural juice that’s suitable for dogs. This should help to make the water tastier.
- Difficulty Breathing
If you see your dog having difficulty breathing, such as extending their neck, opening their mouth and gasping, you should take them to the vet immediately.
When your dog has difficulty breathing, it could be a sign that they’re getting nearer to death, and they’re experiencing discomfort with their throat or lungs that they need your help with. Bringing your dog to the vet as quickly as possible will maximize your chances of saving your dog.
Always watch your dog’s behavior, especially if they’re getting old. When you notice them having difficulty relaxing or looking consistently anxious, try to make them feel calm and secure.
To help your dog feel better, determine whether they’re feeling hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, or need to change positions. Always talk to your dog gently and calmly, and remind them that you’re with them forever.
- Decrease in Mobility
Dogs are usually like energetic balls of fur that never stop running around the house, especially if you’ve just come home from a long day at work. However, if your dog barely stands up to greet you, you should be on high alert for a reduction in their activity level.
When you notice that your dog no longer has the energy to stand up and move around the room, it could be because they’re experiencing discomfort with their joints and bones. They may even be developing arthritis, or other joint problems.
Arthritis and joint pains could cause illness, disease or obesity. If your dog refuses to move to the point where you need to lift them, it could be a sign of unseen pain or discomfort, and a good reason to go see the vet.
- Uncontrollable Urination and Bowel Movements
An obvious sign that your dog is not in their best shape is when they urinate even when they’re not trying to. When your dog suddenly releases urine, even if just lying on the floor, it could be a sign that their kidneys are beginning to shut down. However, older dogs may find it tiring to stand up, so they simply relieve themselves while laying down.
Additionally, your dog could experience uncontrollable bowel movements. Some may find it challenging to stand up and squat to relieve themselves. What they choose to do – similarly to peeing – is to release their stool while laying on the floor.
- Blue or Extremely Pale Gums
Your dog’s gums should be a healthy shade of pink. If you notice that they’re blue or very pale, it could be a sign of anemia, which is a severe issue that you should tend to immediately.
If your dog’s gums are pink until you press them, and then they turn white for several seconds, this is a clear sign of circulatory collapse, which could eventually lead to death. In this case, make sure that you get the dog seen to as soon as possible.
When it comes to owning a dog, you should always be on the lookout for sudden changes in their behavior, as this could mean that the dog isn’t feeling well. When you notice something unusual or concerning, you should immediately take your pet to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
When your pet shows unusual symptoms, bringing them to the vet is a wise decision. Even if you know that your pet will survive, it’s ideal to have them checked out and make sure that everything remains healthy in the long run.
If your dog’s about to pass away, you should give them the love, care, support and companionship that they need. Additionally, you should provide proper care for your dog by giving them healthy meals, regular walking, vitamins and routine vaccination, to keep them healthy and strong all the time. Always spend time with your pet, to make them happy and help them to enjoy a long life under your care.