Can Pets Sense When Their Death Is Near?

Posted by Krissy Howard
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Pets are able to sense incredible things, from disease to oncoming medical trouble to even impending death among their two and four-legged friends.

Sure, they can sniff out problems in others, but can they sense when they, themselves, are about to die? Veterinarian Jennifer Coates thinks they might and recently explained why on PetMD.

Coates recalls several instances of pets attempting to acknowledge or comfort their furry friends in the last moments of their lives, experiences she was able to witness firsthand during countless house calls over the years. While instances of pets sensing their own mortality seems less prevalent to Coates, she doesn't dismiss their capabilities entirely.

She wrote:

"Many owners will talk about pets who have 'told' them that it was time to let them go. In most cases, the pets turn inward. They withdraw from the people they love and no longer show any interest in what is going on around the house."

This might explain why some dogs have been known to wander off or find a small dug out area of the ground to crawl into when they sense their time is near.

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However, this display of behavior isn't always the case. According to Coates:

"At other times, dying pets seem to seek out more attention from their caretakers or do things they have never done before. Do these behaviors indicate that these pets understand they are dying or are they simply caused by the pet's declining health?" 

Whatever the case may be, Coates insists that it's important to keep in mind that we may not ever really know what our pets are telling us. She encourages pet owners to understand signs that something may be off, especially in sick and older pets, so that, when the time does come, they can be offered the comfort and care they need to pass peacefully.

Has your pet ever sensed when it was their time to go? Tell us in the comments!

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Can Pets Sense When Their Death Is Near?