Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Death, Dying and the Senior Dog

Death, Dying and the Senior Dog

Senior dogs hold a very special place in my heart.

I find that dogs in their golden years tend to soften with age. Their gray faces grin with wisdom and contentment for the simplicities of life, like cuddles, snacks, and naps. They are so loveable, and oh so cute.

As the years progress in this dog chapter of life, the line between “golden” and “tired” becomes narrow. Suddenly, it can feel hard to know whether or not your senior dog is enjoying this life any longer.

When this time comes, it’s accompanied with waves of anticipatory grief, sadness, and worry. How do you offer your senior dog dignity in dying, in the same way that you offered it in life?

Here are three measurements I want you to keep a pulse on when this transitional time comes for your senior dog, or a dog you love:

  1. Your senior dog’s quality of life. When you look at your dog’s quality of life, start by journaling what they enjoy each day, as well as what’s a struggle. Use a trusted quality of life pet scale, such as this one, as it will likely contain questions that you haven’t yet considered. Don’t just use this scale once, use it regularly (weekly or even daily) to see how your pup’s quality of life changes between the days and weeks, and where it’s averaging.
  2. Your quality of life. I want to remind you that it is not selfish to consider your quality of life during this time. Caring for a dying animal is not easy. It often consumes resources, such as time and money. It’s also emotionally exhausting. Consider how you’re feeling during all of this. Are you experiencing regular anxiety? Are you sleep deprived? Your quality of life matters, and it is an essential component to this journey that you are sharing with your dog.
  3. Your inner voice. My experience is that there is a lot of “unknowing” during the hospice phase of your dog’s life. You work to keep them comfortable, and eventually there comes a moment where you just know the day has arrived. Your inner voice is your intuition, and it is your truest compass in this life. Trust that you will know when the time has come.

People don’t want to talk about death and dying, but I do. I want to lean into it with you, and honor this time alongside you. This transitional time may last longer than you’d think, and I am here for you. You can book a video consultation with me anytime.

Newsletter logo

By signing up for our newsletter, you consent to recieve emails and SMS messages for marketing purposes, and agree to our Privacy & Cookie Policy. We will never sell/share your information!

Leave a Comment

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

dr angie pet homepage square boulderholisticvet

Hey there, I’m Dr. Angie

I help empower pet owners to become medical advocates for their pets.

Let's get started!

What would you like to read?

FREE Cannabis for Pets Quick Start Guide

Learn how cannabis can help your dog or cat live a better life.
This site requires anonymous cookies and various 3-rd party services to function properly. To continue using Boulder Holistic Vet, you must consent to our Cookie & Privacy policies.

"FREE" Cannabis for Pets Guide >>>

Are you curious about how to get started with using Cannabis for your Dog or Cat? Grab my free guide below!

Enter your information below and choose what type of pet guardian you are to sign up.