Does Your Dog Know She is Dying?



    Our Boston Terrier and Pug crossed over the rainbow bridge. Needless to say, it was two of the hardest days in our lives. Our Pug, Emma, was taken to the vet and had her end of life care in their office. There was something about that process that made it very hard for us and even almost cold. Now, it was our first lose and to be fair, didn't really know what the process consisted of.  When the time came for Allie, our terrier, we knew that we didn't want to go through that experience again. We opted for a veterinarian who performed in home end of life care. While the loss was still painful, the experience was much more pleasing.  So, did our girls know they were dying?

    Experts believe that on some level animals understand the concept of death, but do they know they are dying.  Studies show that some dogs turn inward and withdraw from the family and some dogs seem to be more attached, and seek more attention from their family.

    I believe both my dogs knew or sensed their end was near.  Our pug, Emma turned inward and started to act strange. Instead of her normal resting place, she would rest in a separate room from us and limited the amount of time she spend with us. Our terrier, Allie was more attached to us, she spent lots of time with us. I almost believe the way they handled death was very connected to their personalities. Emma, was a very friendly, playful pug during her prime. She loved attention  and being the center of it at her choosing.  When she wanted to be left alone, her independent, strong personality came out. She would walk away from us and go nap in the corner. Allie, also a great dog in her prime was always ready to play, as most Boston Terriers are. She was always near you, if she wasn't showing you her ball catching skills, she would sleeping right on you. She always needed to be touching you in some way.

    angel has paws

    So, experts and veterinarians believe dogs can sense death, but they don't have any definite answers to whether they know they are dying.  What is important is we make their last days as loving, safe and comfortable as possible.