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Do dogs known when they are close to death?

dog death

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#1    spartan max2

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:02 PM

I ask this question because of a story my freind told me . Two months before his dog died the dog started acting as if it knew it was going to die soon. The dog would NEVER go in my freinds room until acouple months before it died. The dog would just walk in his room at night and stair at him as he slept. The dog did the same with the rest of the family. He did alot of other things i wish i remembered what, but basically all stuff suggesting the dog knew it was going to die soon. It acted very sentimental.

So my question is
Do animals have a instictive knowledge of when they are close to death?
and has anyone elses animals shown signs of knowing they are close to death?

" I imagine that the intellegent people are the ones so intellegent that they dont even need or want to look "intellegent" anymore".
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#2    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:04 PM

I believe they do .I don't think cats are as aware of their own demise looming,but they know when someone else will die .

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#3    spartan max2

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:34 PM

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 07 December 2012 - 03:04 PM, said:

.I don't think cats are as aware of their own demise looming,but they know when someone else will die .

Thats interesting, what makes you say that?

" I imagine that the intellegent people are the ones so intellegent that they dont even need or want to look "intellegent" anymore".
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#4    Ashotep

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:38 PM

I think they do, they way they look at you wanting your comfort and love.  I miss my dog so much.


#5    Ashotep

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:41 PM

I think cats know too.  When my old cat got near death he insisted on dying at our old house.  Which it wasn't very far away and we still owned it.


#6    GreenmansGod

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:41 PM

I think they do,  but it depends on whether is it from natural causes or accident.

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#7    Helen of Annoy

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:40 PM

Most of my cats knew, be it old age, illness or accident, they’d become more affectionate in very specific way, a week to a month before they died.
It’s not just me imagining things, other people, not so imaginative like I sometimes am, noticed it too.

The most baffling was the eye contact they’d make, like they are trying to relate something to my numb human mind. They can’t speak, but they can say “thank you” with their eyes.

It was also very... shocking... to have other cats “talk” to me after one of them has died. Like they are trying to explain something to me with their chirps and meows.
God, I feel so stupid.

Edited by Helen of Annoy, 07 December 2012 - 06:41 PM.

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#8    Helen of Annoy

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:59 PM

You know, when you like my post, I take that as an excuse to post more :D
Since the thread was started with question about dogs and death, I’ll tell you about my dog too. It was literally 30 years ago, but I’m still so angry about it.

When I was a kid, my... ah, let’s call him a father... gave my dog away to equally psychopathic friend of his. He treated the dog well, I can’t complain, but it was large shepherd dog, bred for protecting sheep from wolves, and that breed is famous for bonding with one person. I was his person. Eventually, he bit some moron who didn’t respect his territory and they killed him. The dog, not the moron. Sadly.
I was allowed to visit my dog every now and then and the last time I visited him before they killed him, he hugged me. It was not the “I want to have sex with your leg” type of hug, it was proper “I love you human” hug. So we hugged and I started to cry because I knew this is the goodbye. When you grow up a lot of things you feel get discarded by your meddling grown-up brain. When you’re a kid, you just know. You don’t question if it’s considered possible or not.
Few days after, he bit that guy and they shot him.
He most definitely knew something’s going to happen to him and I most definitely knew we are parting. So I was not surprised when they told me he was killed, but my father was surprised with my lack of surprise.

And my husband’s dog. It’s a lot brighter story.
He had a female dog, mostly Border Collie with god knows what else. Wonderful, energetic, friendly, silly, beautiful dog.
Then there was the war and she would know and announce each incoming shell before it exploded anywhere near us. She would yelp and even pull your clothes if you didn’t immediately respond to her alarms. In the morning before particularly hard attack, she was visibly, undoubtedly agitated and wanted everyone to stay inside. Of course, a house guaranteed no safety, but still it was better than outside. She tried to literally herd her humans in the relative safety. She was particularly useful with directing my husband's father, who was not exactly deaf but not far from that, into make-shift shelter.
Maybe one could explain her bomb forecasts with superb dog hearing, maybe she could hear the discharge better and could guess the projectile trajectory solely on that sound, but how can anyone explain she knew the day will be harder than usual? How could she ever guess what they’ll drop later that day?
Now the brighter part. She survived and chased neighbours, geese, cars, cyclists for years after, and she didn’t have to announce any explosions before they happen anymore. She would announce us coming home, before she saw any car.   

Animals like cats or dogs being “psychic” is so obvious fact of life to me, I can’t stop being amazed at those who never noticed it.
They know, and we know, only we for some reason choose to ignore it.

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#9    Likely Guy

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:45 AM

Without a doubt, in my opininion, they know.

My old yellow lab was off his food for a couple of days and then one night he wanted out, which wasn't odd. The next morning I expected to find him outside but he was no where to be found. This was a dog that never left my yard, unless I took him with me, for his entire life.

I found out the next day that he went to the far end of the street and died on a stranger's porch. He knew. :(


#10    pallidin

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:54 AM

I think most animals, above whatever type, can sense a closeness of natural, injured or diseased death.

Edited by pallidin, 08 December 2012 - 01:54 AM.


#11    spartan max2

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:15 AM

Thanks for the post everyone. and thanks for the added stories Helen of Annoy lol

" I imagine that the intellegent people are the ones so intellegent that they dont even need or want to look "intellegent" anymore".
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#12    DKO

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:04 AM

When I was young we had a cat. We had him until he was fifteen years old. He was more of a house cat, we let him outside but he would always hang around. Then towards the end he started getting sick, the vets said he was near the end. Then about a week later he disappeared. I always wondered if he took off because he knew he was at the end, since he never left before and we always knew where he was.

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#13    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:46 AM

View Postspartan max2, on 07 December 2012 - 03:34 PM, said:



Thats interesting, what makes you say that?
I've seen dogs do things ,close to their deaths ,that make me think so .Cats,well I've seen a few die ,and they don't seem to know before hand .
They know when someone else is sick or dying though
My cats held vigil in ny moms room,first time she went into the hospital ..They all took her death very hard too .
They may know it about themselves,but they show no sign of it to me.

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#14    Helen of Annoy

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:29 PM

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 08 December 2012 - 08:46 AM, said:

I've seen dogs do things ,close to their deaths ,that make me think so .Cats,well I've seen a few die ,and they don't seem to know before hand .
They know when someone else is sick or dying though
My cats held vigil in ny moms room,first time she went into the hospital ..They all took her death very hard too .
They may know it about themselves,but they show no sign of it to me.


Yes, cats are often very... private. Such cats hide their weakness, which is bad because by the time you can see more drastic symptoms it’s too late.
Just like people, each animal has its own nature.

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#15    Bonecrusher

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:13 PM

There was no outward signs before my previous dogs passed away in the last week.
However there was a distinct lack of appetite but that went on for months before they succumbed to cancer.
Instead of eating they would bob their heads from side to side and finally walk away.
That could be a sign of resignation as if they've just given up the ghost.
Though it has to be said that the female was still full of the joys of spring two weeks before she was put down.
I was there at the end and it was truly heart- wrenching.
Personally I think deep down they know.

Edited by Walnut Whip, 08 December 2012 - 07:16 PM.

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