Why Dogs Hide When They Are Dying? Vet Answered

Why Dogs Hide When They Are Dying

For a pet owner, watching your dog close to death is heart-wrenching. At this stage, you feel helpless. You dreamed of spending your life till the end with your pet. Many dogs hide when dying. There are lots of reasons behind why dogs hide when they are dying

In this article, we will discuss this heartbreaking topic, which no one wants to talk about. As pet parents, we desire to be with them, till the last breath. But from the dog’s case, they don’t want to do so. Most of the dogs are hiding when they are close to death. Why do dogs hide when they are dying? What’s the reason behind this? What should we do for our pet, when we come to know that he is about to die?

Without any further ado, let’s talk about how we can be helpful in the most difficult times for our loved ones. 

Why Dogs hide When They are Dying?

We feel sad to talk about this as being a dog parent. Lots of symptoms are there, you have to know about it if you own a dog. 

Why Dogs hide When They are Dying

When your dog is about to die, he doesn’t take food properly. You feel his disinterest in food intake, activity, and play. Along with these, they are staying sick constantly and due to diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss they feel weak and to seek protection they try to hide themselves when dying. This instinct is coming from their wolf ancestors.

Lots of other reasons I have gathered are:

Hide for Seeking Comfort 

Comfort is everything when anyone is near to death. A major reason why dogs hide when they are dying is to be comfortable. At the time, when a dog is going to die. He is so weak and wants to find the most peaceful place. Continuously switching sides is so difficult for them. They prefer a quieter and darkened place where they can spend their days. 

Hide for Protection 

Dogs can feel that now he is about to die. They have the instinct to live more in this world with their beloved. But now that they are weak, and inefficient in protecting themselves, they listen to what their body needs, that’s why dogs hide when they are dying. They hide under the bed, table, or kitchen counter to feel safe. Because of the strong feeling of death, they forget all of your love,  warmth, and protection and isolate themselves in a comfortable place.  

Hide to Avoid Fear

Dogs are feeling scared when they see death close to them. To avoid that fear they find a comfortable and darker place. Where they can take a spot to put their head. It’s difficult for them to overcome this overwhelming moment. This is also a reason why dogs hide when they are dying. Hiding in a peaceful and comfy place,  makes them mentally strengthened and efficient to bear the death phase, better than a crowded environment.

Hide to Avoid People

When dogs are near to death, they are incapable of trusting people. Especially those who abuse and yell on them. That’s why dogs hide when they are dying. You can observe that dogs become scared in front of strangers who have not treated them well in the past.  They are trying to avoid those who make this struggling time harder for them.

Dogs Dementia (Cognitive dysfunction syndrome)

 ‘Alzheimer’s disease’ called DEMENTIA affects 10% of humans when they are 65 and 50% at the age of 85. ‘Cognitive dysfunction syndrome’ CDS is also affected by senior dogs. 

Cognitive dysfunction syndrome is also a major reason why dogs hide when they are dying. Keep a close eye on your dog’s inappropriate behavior. According to Dr. Aly Cohen, CDS affects the memory, eyesight, and mental condition of the animal, sources.

If you observe the weird behavior of your pet, get him checked by Vets. and try to secure your home for the dog. If he walks outside alone in this condition, might never come back due to his memory disability.

Do Dogs Know When They Are Going to Die? 

Dogs have a strong sense of understanding to their parents. Humans don’t have enough efficiency to know what’s going on in pet’s mind. 

Red and white 

Do dogs know when they are dying? I’m mentioning some signs of dogs’ behavior that you can consider that dogs are aware of.

Most dogs want to be alone in a comfy, quiet, and darker place when they are about to end their lives, They hide from anyone’s eye, but some dogs get more attached and closer to their owners, as they have an aspiration to spend more time, have fun and play, but can’t do it, due to their low energy and weakness. 

Collective thoughts from scientists, the general public, and according to the natural world of dogs, it seems, being constantly in tune with your beloved pets, as dogs aware of our thoughts and depression, we consider that dogs are efficient enough to understand that they are coming to an end, they are going close to death.  

As per research, scientists said that ‘it is difficult to know about their instinct, near to death. According to the research, I came to know, sometimes they bark and whine more and suddenly become quiet. They are facing depression and anxiety at that time. Due to depression, most of the dogs see distance from their owner and hide themselves.

How to Comfort a Dying Dog

For a pet parent, it’s a very painful moment, to say goodbye to your furry friend. A dog owner wants to do everything possible to provide comfort in his last days. This all is like a sudden situation.

How to Comfort a Dying Dog

Most of us are not aware of how to support and help them in the hardest times. I made a short list to comfort your dog that will impart guidance for every dog owner to deal with in the last few days. Let’s read, it surely helps you to handle your dog properly. 

Create a Peaceful Environment

Avoid noisy and turbulent environments, in their last few hours or days, dogs don’t have the power to bear these things. Interact with family, children, and companion pet dogs to release stress. Do not let them introduce new people and new places, they face anxiety and weakness at this time and want to hide from anyone.

Ensure the interaction with the family members is quiet and calm.  Natural sounds of birds and soothing music help them to release depression and lead them to a peaceful environment. Mostly this is the reason why dogs hide when they are dying.

Offer Familiarity

Familiarity is an important factor for a dying dog which you have to consider. Let him spend time with the familiar things. Leave him with the toys, laundry basket, children, and neighbor’s pet. He will feel good to be with those who offer him familiarity. At this difficult time, dogs don’t want to interact with new toys, people, and places. Familiarity and interaction with their knowing one, makes me feel good. 

Physical Comfort 

For a dog who is near death, providing him with physical comfort works as an astonishing trick. Physical comfort helps him to bear his pain and weakness. A peaceful place and, a clean bed to lay on makes him stronger. Keep some extra cushion beside his legs and back which help them to relieve the pain.

Do whatever you think is physically comfortable for your pet.  Some dogs want owners to be with them. Give them extra care. Pet him like a baby. Your furry friend is eagerly needed for your gentle hugs. Love them and make him realize that ‘Everything will be ok soon

Calm Presence

Older and dying dogs face joint pain, and muscle weakness and start losing control of their body. Sometimes, he throws a bowl, not eating food, and urinates on the bed. But remember one thing, this is not his fault, due to his weakness he isn’t able to do things properly. 

Do not shout at them. Showing anger and frustration is the worst feeling for him. Your harsh sounds make him upset.  Your dog is being grumpy at this end stage of life. Do your best to be patient and calm in front of your dog. And provide every possible comfort at home. 

Speak Calmly

Dogs are inefficient at understanding your words. They notice all your sound, emotions, tones and commands. They follow your commands like, Go, Sit, Run, lay down, and more. Dogs are very well known for human bad and good tones. They understand your emotions through your tone whether you are sad, happy, or angry.

 At this time, when your dog is feeling weak, be calm and polite to him. Assure him in a soft and light tone that ‘its ok, Everything will be fine’. Treat him like a baby and gently pet him after a few hours.   

Offer Water and Food

Close to death, your dog is not getting food and water. It is totally normal. But dehydration makes his death painful. So, keep a bowl of fresh water beside your pet, whenever he wants to drink water, it is easy for him. Due to weakness, if your dog is not capable of drinking water himself, use a clean and new dropper to provide him with water. 

Offer Water and Food

It is perfectly fine if your dog is not getting food for several days. Give him some of his favorite food, which he loves to eat in his lively days. Maybe he will eat a little bit. 

Pain Management

Most dogs don’t show their pain like a human does. For animals showing pain is a sign of weakness, so they hide it very well. You can observe, if he is lethargic, hiding, gasping and rapidly breathing, being lazy, and changes in his behavior, these all are the symptoms of his pains. 

If you see any of these symptoms, call the vet immediately, they will give you proper medication according to your dog’s condition. Do not delay in this, proper medication helps in his pain management.

Keep Them Warm

Due to his muscle weakness, It is important to keep them warm. Many things you can use to provide comfort to your dog and make him feel at ease. Close the doors and windows, from where air passes. Wrap your dog in multiple blankets, and provide them with warm bedding. On normal days, the dog uses his body to warm the bed. You can have a heater in the room, to provide ease in his end days. 

Gentle Massage 

Some illness and discomfort make your pet’s pain unbearable, and sometimes they are struggling with it, till his last breath.  In the end days of your beloved dog. Gentle massages help him to release pain and be comfortable.

Dogs love to get massages. It is very helpful to prevent your dog’s pain and discomfort in their hardest time, you can rub your pet’s body with both of your hands. Remember that, do massage with soothing and soft hands, your dog is no longer capable of bearing your hard massages, which he loves at a time. 

Allow Rest

At this tough time allow rest to your companion. Make the last days of his easy for him. Provide food, water, and every necessity on his bed. If your toilet is upstairs, comfy diapers for dogs will be helpful. May he face trouble and pain to go upstairs. Let him rest, spend the last days with him as much as you can. Do whatever possible for you, to provide him comfort on his bed. 

What to Do if you Feel Your Dog is Hiding Because He is Dying

Watching your furry friend hiding for some time, and wondering why dogs hide when they are dying. It is the worst feeling to see your beloved one, near death. It’s a natural process, everyone is helpless in this situation. 

Spend more time with him when you know he is going to pass away. At this time, most dogs are not allowed to anyone near him. If your companion does not allow you, don’t pressure him. Stay away and look after all of his needs. I know it is very difficult on your heart. 


Find the places where he hides. Keep the place warm. Provide food, water, and toys at his places. Do not stress, if your dog is not consuming food, is it normal? They don’t need food anymore as their body is shutting down. Here I mention some more things you can do if you feel your dog is hiding because he is dying. 

Stay Calm

 To serve your pet in his last days, first, you have to calm yourself. I know it’s a very difficult time for you. Spend as much time as possible with your dog. Engage yourself in activities like reading books, and watching movies to calmer your mind and heart. Interact with your friends and family and share your feelings with them. Try to focus on the present time which you have with your furry friend till his death. 


After composing yourself, you should observe your dog’s condition. When your dog is near death, he loses control, faces heavy breathing and panting, is not able to regulate his body temperature, shivers in normal weather, has muscle weakness, loses interest in their favorite games and activities, and does not interact with their companion.

 Every canine has different symptoms, you should observe your dog according to his behavior and condition. These signs will be helpful for you while taking care of him.  

Isolate and Monitor

Do you observe your dog’s condition? Now you are much aware of how you can isolate and monitor your beloved companion. Treat him like your baby. Give him a peaceful and quiet environment, and cut off the number of visitors, which may cause stress and anxiety for him. At this time the dog doesn’t want to interact with anyone.

Monitor his needs, As you know, he is not capable of regulating his body temperature, so provide him with more blankets to avoid shivering. Take care of his food and water intake. Keep himself and his bedding clean to maintain hygiene. 

Contact a Veterinarian

Contact your dog vet, as soon as possible. He will provide medications according to your dog’s condition. Remember that, properly checked by a vet is an essential and his need. All of the symptoms I have provided are general and basic care. Contact a veterinarian who will be obliging for your pet. 

Avoid Stress

Along with your dog, your proper well-being matters too. Being in touch with your dog’s vet helps you to overcome your stress which is due to your dog’s condition. You can write your feelings on a page or share them with friends and family. Keeping yourself busy with work or different activities is the best way to avoid stress.     

Prepare For The Vet Visit

As you watch your furry friend’s condition, if he is seriously ill, call the vet or take him to them. Make a ceiling support with a blanket which helps him to move their body. Bring any kind of medication the dog is taking, and medical history with you. It’s vital for the wet. Be prepared to make any decision, sometimes the vet describes ‘Euthanizing’ to release your dog’s pain.  

Supportive Care

He needs your support and care. Spend time with him, do lighter activities that he likes, talk to him in a soothing tone, make him comfy, go for a walk, or sit outside. Your presence means a lot to him. Stuck at a routine of eating, playing, and washing or cleaning. Dogs like familiarity more. Ask your veterinarian, how can you provide every possible care during the last days of his life.  

Quality of Life 

Engaging your dogs in activities they like. spend with him as much time as you can. Provide him with what he wants, his favorite food like raw fish and chicken. Respect his choices. In the end, he started losing his quality of life, his illness destroyed his well-being, and now he is no longer enjoying his life. Sometimes pain is delicate and their minds are completely gone. Your presence makes him feel better.   

 We have already discussed a lot about why dogs hide when they are dying and their inappropriate behavior. But remember one thing, all dogs are different from one another so they have mixed emotional responses which is distressing for the owner who wants to provide comfort and the best care to his furry friend before he dies. Here are some frequently asked questions by dog owners, which will give you a good grip on your dog’s conditions.

Common Question:

Are dogs afraid of death?

Everyone in the world is afraid of death, no matter whether human or dog. Dr. Brandenburg Schroedor said that dogs are not afraid to death as much as humans are.

Can dogs hear after they die?

Yes they can. When the dog dies, first his sense of sight is gone, and hearing is the last. After the heart stops, some dogs continue breathing. It is the same for humans.

How do you say goodbye to your dog?

I say goodbye to my dog with warm hugs and lots of kisses. You can also write a goodbye letter and bury it with your dog.

 Do dogs miss people?

Dogs also miss people. But he can’t say ‘I Miss you’ like a human does. They show their affection to you when you come back home, by waiting for you next to the door.

What happens when a dog dies naturally?

A dog’s heart and breathing have stopped, and his body is shut down when a dog dies naturally. It’s better to be assured by a vet.

Do dogs say goodbye when they die?

Due to scientific research, there is no clue of dogs saying goodbye when they die. But many pet owners say that, in the end, their dogs try to say goodbye to them.

Can dogs cry?

Yes, they can. Dogs can cry in two ways. Vocally in a way, wrenching your heart and with tears too.


I’m sorry if you are facing this situation. Losing your companion, your beloved dog is a difficult and traumatic experience for a pet owner. Are you wondering why dogs hide when they are dying? Many reasons behind this. He is facing stress and wants to be alone. Avoid interaction with anyone. 

In the whole article, I have discussed a lot about this.  If you’re hiding, let him be. Try to provide comfort and necessity at his hiding place. It’s not so easy to watch your dog’s death. In his ending days try to treat him as special as you can.

Give them love and attention more than they deserve. So you will not regret not being together with him. You will be proud of yourself for giving lots of love and best care to your loved one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like