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spartan max2

Do dogs known when they are close to death?

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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?

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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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.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?

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

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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.

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

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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
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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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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. :(

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

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

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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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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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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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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
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They have much greater senses than us for sure.

My mothers' Yorkshire Terrier was barking like mad one night and scratching the wall that led to the next door neighbor's house. The next day, said neighbor was found dead due to a heart attack or some other bodily cause...weird. I've heard of a few of these kind of situations.

It's been said that dogs can smell cancer too. There was this woman who had weird moles on her leg that the dog kept sniffing; she got 'em checked out and it turns out it was skin cancer.

For those who believe in the metaphysical, this is an easy call but for someone like myself, I tend to side with the scientific approach of chemical release and sensory organs. Check out these senses that various bugs and animals have: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/amaze.html

Edited by Sean93
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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. :(

That's what happened to our sheepdog/terrier mix, Wade. We had him for about 15 years. He was a mostly outdoor dog, out in the country, but never wandered far. One day, my mum called and said he wasn't looking too great and she didn't think he'd make it to the weekend. Two days later, they couldn't find him. My dad and brother looked for days, going up and down the backroads, into parts of the woods. Didn't find him. We knew he'd gone away to find somewhere to die. He knew. :(

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I worry about my elderly golden retriever. He's gotten so much more affectionate in the last two months. He never wants to leave our sides and he's started sleeping in the bedrooms next to the beds (something he's never done) He's showing no signs that he's physically ill though. He's still eating fine and no sign of pain. Maybe its one of us that's ill and doesn't know it yet..that's worrying.

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I worry about my elderly golden retriever. He's gotten so much more affectionate in the last two months. He never wants to leave our sides and he's started sleeping in the bedrooms next to the beds (something he's never done) He's showing no signs that he's physically ill though. He's still eating fine and no sign of pain. Maybe its one of us that's ill and doesn't know it yet..that's worrying.

Being elderly he could just be making up for his lack of exuberance and energy that he used to use to play with by seeking company/companionship instead, it must get boring not being able to run about and being on his own too. I hope you are all doing okay, either way.

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I worry about my elderly golden retriever. He's gotten so much more affectionate in the last two months. He never wants to leave our sides and he's started sleeping in the bedrooms next to the beds (something he's never done) He's showing no signs that he's physically ill though. He's still eating fine and no sign of pain. Maybe its one of us that's ill and doesn't know it yet..that's worrying.

I think it’s either what libstaK said, either him sensing his time is about to come. I don’t think it’s one of you because like other people pointed out, dogs can actually show which body part of ill person worries them.

I guess he'd be focused on the ill person if not at the specific body part, not both of them. (When they sense heart attacks or epileptic seizures they don't sniff at people's chests or heads, they "guard" the person that is about to have those.)

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Dogs are empathic.That's why we bred them to become man's best friend.

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Yes dogs do know when they will pass on.

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