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How to Know When It’s Time – P.L.A.Y.


By Salvatore S. Randazzo on Jul 11, 2023

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As dog owners, it’s challenging to say our dogs Goodbye! While many dogs age gracefully without significant health problems, others may experience chronic, disabling, or terminal illnesses that lessen their overall quality of life. As a result, anxious dog owners frequently wonder if their dog may be near the end of their life.  

To assist dog owners in identifying the early warning signs of their dog’s end of life, we have compiled a list of everyday canine habits you can spot in your dog’s daily life routine. 

Signs Identifying Your Dog Is Near The End Of Their Life 

Below are some signs to identify that your dog is near the end of its life. However, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian about your dog’s health and behavior changes. 

Faces Difficulty In Controlling The Body Temperature.

Dogs who are ill, aged, or near their death may struggle to regulate their optimal body temperature. So, make sure that your dog has enough access to water and may have a shady area to live in if you’re living in a warm area. However, if you’re living in a colder area, ensure your dog has a warm, snug bed and blanket or a nice place in the sun to sleep.

Loss of weight

A lowered appetite is usually the cause of weight loss, which is a specific aspect of aging seen in senior dogs who frequently have issues digesting protein. If you’re seeing this issue in your dog, it is advisable to decrease the quantity of food you’re feeding your dog. Consider giving the dog more easily digestible protein such as eggs, poultry, cattle, lamb, and proteins produced from organs like the kidney, heart, and liver.


Another common symptom you’ll see in your dog is becoming lethargic. Your dog will typically sleep more and show less interest in going for walks or doing regular activities as their life ends. In this situation, you should support your little friend by giving them more dog beds, cozy spots to sit around the house, and their favorite blankets and toys.

Lack of Appetite 

When a dog begins to refuse food or becomes picky about specific items, this would be a sign that they are close to the end of their life. 

Your dog may lose appetite if they’re ill and take medication that impairs their ability to taste or smell. Giving your dog food items with strong aromas or reheating the food to intensify the smell will help stimulate their sense to smell. You can also feed your dog smaller portions of food to keep them motivated and engaged in eating! 

Difficulty In Breathing 

Another typical dog behavior that is seen in dogs before death is abnormal respiratory patterns or evidence of breathing trouble (even when resting). You may notice your dog’s breathing has become shallow, and there are unusually long pauses between their breaths.

Dehydration Problems 

It can be a sign that your dog is near the end of their life if they are no longer interested in their water bowl. You can maintain your dog’s hydration by switching to canned food or adding a small quantity of water to their meal. Sometimes, you might need an oral syringe or squirt bottle to give your dog water. But remember to use a clean bottle that never contains chemicals in it and squirt a small quantity of water at a time. 


Your furry friend may lose control of their bladder and bowels and become incontinent if they are near the end of their lifespan. They may also require additional assistance from you or other family members to stay clean because they can’t get up to relieve themselves outside. You should give your best to keep your dog’s bed dry and tidy and have them lie on a waterproof pet pad so that they can sleep comfortably, or you can also think of wearing your dog a nappy if necessary.


Depression is a common symptom that is greatly seen in emotional support dog when he is near the end of his lifespan. It may also be seen in normal dogs, where they start feeling lethargic and show no interest in the games, toys, or people they used to like. Depending on these symptoms, you can consult with your veterinarian, who may prescribe anti-depressants tablets you can give your dog to deal with depression. 

What To Do After Knowing Your Dog Is Near The End Of Life? 

After recognizing the changes in your dog’s behavior, consult your veterinarian immediately and talk with your family members if you believe your dog is near the end of his life. 

It’s very difficult to say goodbye to our furry friend, but our dogs may experience more pain as their life comes to an end. The last loving gesture you can do for your dog is to arrange a peaceful passage before they reach the final phase of their end-of-life journey. Don’t hold off until the last minute because planning before your dog’s end-of-life journey will help you, your family, and your pet throughout the process.

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