You may hope that your canine companion can live as long as you, but unfortunately, dogs just don't have the same average lifespan as humans. This means that as your dog gets older, it may be just a matter of time before they have to leave you. Sometimes, the death of a pet is sudden and unexpected, but in a lot of cases, dogs will live well into their senior years and die of natural or age-related causes. As a pet parent, it is good if you can get yourself prepared for what is going to happen by understanding the signs that your dog is not going to be around much longer.
Loss of Appetite or Changes in Typical Eating Patterns
A dog who is nearing the end of its days will start to lose interest in food. This may not be a complete loss of appetite unless there are other illnesses at play, but you may start to see your dog gradually eat less and less when they are offered food. Likewise, your pooch may become uninterested in usual tasty treats or begging when you have something that smells yummy on your plate. As an older dog's body starts to lose functions, hunger will wane.
Loss of Coordination
Loss of coordination can point to severe motor issues or injuries with younger dogs. However, older dogs who portray this kind of behavior may be struggling because their body is shutting down, such as the nervous system that helps your dog receive signals from their brain for walking, chewing, or navigating. If you spot that your dog is losing coordination, it is a good idea to take it to the vet just to be sure it is not in any pain. At this point, some owners do decide to have their pet put to sleep just to avoid any pain and suffering.
Loss of Kidney or Bowel Control
The kidneys and bowels are part of the digestive system, and the digestive system is sometimes one of the first systems of the body to fail when your pet is dying. Your dog may not be able to get outside fast enough to potty outdoors as usual. They may even leak urine when they fall asleep or sit still for long periods of time. If you spot these signs of trouble, be prepared for the symptoms to grow worse, but as a safe measure, call the vet for advice.
For more information, contact establishments like Parkview Animal Hospital.