How to Comfort a Dying Dog

Honestly, I cannot imagine the pain you’d be going through during this time. I’ve experienced similar feelings in the past, so I understand how you must be feeling, and I assure you that you’ll be okay with time. 

Honestly, I cannot imagine the pain you’d be going through during this time. I’ve experienced similar feelings in the past, so I understand how you must be feeling, and I assure you that you’ll be okay with time. 

When it’s time to let go of your dog finally, the most sensible thing to do is to make them as comfortable as possible by showering them with love. 

As a pet owner going through the loss of a pet isn’t an easy thing. You’re responsible for them, and as such already have underlying attachements.

Nevertheless, one thing I can promise is that what ever you’re feeling is temporary, i’ve had a lot of pets in my lifetime and it does get better.

Over time you’ll be left with only the good memories of your beloved dog and thus be able to move on without emotional scars.

This article will highlight the best ways to comfort a dying dog while also educating you on the signs to lookout for to know if a dog is dying.

Signs That Your Dog Is Dying

Many pet owners get so busy during the day that they find it hard to notice a change in their dog’s behavior, and when they finally see, it becomes too late, and complications take place afterward.

It is wrong to neglect your beloved peg as anything you do or don’t do may result in your biggest regret. 

Dogs are said to be man’s best friend, they are domestic animals, which means they’re able to coexist with humans easily thus shouldn’t be taken for granted. 

The signs that a dog is dying may include behavioral changes, Extreme Weight Loss, Seizures, restless , unable to settle or get comfortable, excessive whimpering or whining, Increased shedding, Excessive vomiting, Blood particles in feces/urine, and Loss of appetite.


These signs vary from dog to dog depending on their breed and environment, but often, similar patterns occur, which shows that they’re not doing so well.

Your dog’s sleeping patterns may even change; he might be unable to sleep well or at all. At some point, he might become challenging to handle. 

The things you should look out for your dog if you suspect they are about to die include; 

  • Extreme Weight Loss

Weight loss is widespread as dogs tend to get older. It shows that they’re coming to the last days of their life. As the dog gets older, his body doesn’t respond much to protein digestion, which causes him to lose his muscle mass and body weight. As a pet owner, this is the time to be consistent in regulating a healthy feeding diet for your pet as you make sure it takes the recommended daily amount it needs to be able to stay active and become better. 

  • Poor Coordination

As your dog tends to grow older, you’ll notice a decline in the normal functioning of its muscles and nerves because they won’t be able to have enough strength and be active as they’re used to. Hence, there’ll be a decline in his body coordination. He may struggle with things as easy as it seems, like movement(walking) and avoiding obstacles when necessary. Some dogs stumble or have trouble placing their feet correctly when walking. These signs usually happen with time and gradually become more severe and frequent. Some dogs may also experience involuntary muscle twitching as a result of this poor coordination of their body. 

  • Seizures

A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. It can cause changes in behavior, movements, and level of consciousness. Some dogs experience seizures when their lives are coming to an end. It can occur as a result of metabolic imbalances from kidney failure or problems with the brain itself. A seizure that lasts more than 10 minutes or occurs in clusters one after another is treated as emergencies and should be appropriately responded to.

  • Difficulty in breathing

When Your dog starts showing abnormal breathing patterns, then the lungs are affected. You’ll notice this when the respiratory rate keeps fluctuating (up and down) even when he is at rest. 

Breathing is controlled by the muscles and nerves that transport airflow quickly. When the airflow is restricted, your dog will break down. When there’s a case of difficulty in breathing, look out for things like- open-mouthed breathing, stretching of head and neck out while the rest of his body is still, or movement of the abdomen in and out when breathing.  

  • Extreme fatigue

In this case, the dog is frail and inactive. He just stays at a spot and lies dormant there. A dog is a cheerful animal, but in this case, the dog cannot play and do things like he usually does. He wouldn’t even play with his toys, and there’d be no sign of it wagging its tail. The dog just rests on that spot and doesn’t move around. He will sleep more and may prefer to stay home instead of going on walks and spending time outside like he used to.

If these signs persist, they should be taken immediately to see a vet so tests would be run on them and medications would be given where necessary. It is essential to monitor their behavioral pattern to quickly notice any form of change and react to them appropriately as needs are.

How To Comfort A Dying Dog

  • Place them in a quiet/serene environment
  • Handle them with care
  • Keep them warm
  • Give them clean drinking water
  • Administer painkillers 
  • Place them in a comfortable bedding
  • Feed them

Place Them In A Quiet/Serene Environment.

It is advisable to keep them in a quiet environment devoid of noise to avoid getting too stressed. Speak to them calmly and with a soft tone because they’re very vulnerable, so their level of sensitivity will be high. It is essential to keep them away from loud noises as much as possible so they don’t get drained and lose their remaining energy quickly. This will help them rest properly and reduce the stress and discomfort they’ll be feeling at this time.

Handle Them With Care 

At this time, they’ll need a lot of your affection, so handle them with care. Be gentle towards them and give them soft pats and strokes. Allow them to rest and be mindful of your mood during this time because they’ll sense any slight change in your feelings towards them. They’ll need your utmost care so treat them properly. 

Keep Them Warm

A sick dog cannot thrive in areas of extreme temperature conditions and might start to get weaker. They often have trouble regulating their body temperature and will become hot or cold very quickly. Ensure that the temperature of their room is always placed at an optimal level, i.e., not too hot, not too cold, but warm. This will enable them to reserve the little energy they’ve got and keep them warm in the meantime while they rest. 

Give them clean drinking water.

Water is life. The importance of water cannot be overemphasized because it is necessary for the growth and development of all living things(plants or animals). It is crucial to prevent your pet from getting dehydrated. Of course, they might not want to eat or drink as it’ll be difficult for them to do so because their body is gradually falling apart, but water is essential, and their condition might worsen if they don’t take water. 

Give them water carefully through an oral syringe or squirt bottle with a cannula inserted into it to allow easy passage into the mouth. Don’t force too much water into his mouth to prevent choking or even aspiration pneumonia. 

Ensure they take clean drinking water at least twice daily to keep them hydrated and better. 

Administer painkillers

Painkillers or opioid drugs like paracetamol or Panadol are given to pets like dogs when they’re going through unbearable pain or when they aren’t comfortable. It is shown to reduce the pain or feeling of discomfort your dog might have during this time. A veterinarian should strictly prescribe it. The medications should be taken as prescribed because if taken in high dosage or overdose, it can lead to complications and even death. It’ll calm the nerves of the dog and make them comfortable. Painkillers should be administered when necessary. 

Place them in comfortable bedding.

Put down comfortable bedding like a warm, soft blanket so your dog can lay down. When your dog is sick, his body doesn’t regulate temperature change, so he’ll have difficulty doing so; it’s best to keep some handy blankets over him in signs of a cold or use a heater to warm the temperature of the place to make him more comfortable. In this season, your dog needs enough rest to cope with the changes in his body and the discomfort he might be feeling. 

Feed Them Well

Your dog will be unable to eat as he’s unwell and has little or no appetite, so it’s your job as a pet owner to feed him. You can prepare his favorite meal if he has one, so it’ll be easier to feed him then. Solid food can upset the dog’s stomach wall and may lead to cases of diarrhea because digestion of food at this stage doesn’t happen quickly as the body’s system is shutting down.

If the dog decides not to eat, you should force him; you can try mixing the food with water or adding baby food to eat, making it easy to digest and swallow.  

What to Do When Your Dog Dies

When a dog dies, it is a painful period for the owners, and it is incredibly confusing and challenging to know what happens next. 

What makes a pet owner move on quickly is when they are already prepared for the pet’s death. The truth is no one is ready for the end of one’s beloved pet; that’s what makes being a pet owner tenser. What often adds to the trauma of a beloved pet’s death is not knowing how to dispose of their remains.

When a dog dies, its body tends to change, and signs are noted to occur, which may still show that they have little life. These signs include; 

  • Twitching, as a result of the natural nerve spasms after death
  • The release of oxygen from the mouth when moved
  • The release of bodily fluids and gas

These signs are really upsetting and quite irritating for the owners, especially if it happens unexpectedly. They are the things that happen in a dog’s body when it does naturally without any artificial cause whatsoever. 

As a pet owner to another pet owner, I tell you that you’re allowed to grieve for as long as you want to. Let it all out, and don’t be embarrassed to cry. 

Give Yourself Time.

Take care of your mental health, eat the proper diet and do things that you love doing. 

You don’t need to worry about what people may think. Just be happy. After your dog has passed away, your veterinarian will give you the option to spend some one-on-one time with your dog to at least say some last words and communicate with your beloved furry friend one last time. Some owners take this opportunity to say a few last words to their dog, while others choose to pass on this option.

Handle Your Pet’s Remains.

 If your pet dies naturally at home, it may be tough to handle its remains. You may want to call your veterinary doctor or maybe another professional service company that can assist with the disposal of the dog’s remains. After giving you the time you need to grief, you will have to discuss what to do with the remains of your beloved pet with the vet.

Discuss Options For The Remains. 

  Although it’s a little bit unpleasant discussing options for the remains of your beloved pet, you need to do something with your pet’s remains once he passes. Many people prefer cremation (i.e., burning the body) while others choose to bury (6-ft beneath the ground) close to home. You can choose cremation either with the intent to take the cremains(ashes) home with you or not.

In some countries, it is against the law for the veterinary doctor to return your pet’s body to you for burial.


I know to bear the loss of a pet that is so dear to you is not easy at all, and I send my heartfelt condolences because, as a pet owner, I know how it feels to experience the loss of a pet.

 I hope with this article you’ve been able to understand the signs to look out for when your dog is sick and the ways you can take care of your dying dog.

If you have any questions or just need advice relating to this article, please do leave a message, and we’ll respond to it as soon as we can. Thanks. 

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