The Complete Guide On Natural Death VS Euthanasia In Dogs
Stacy Reed
Author: Stacy Reed
Stacy is a freelance writer who has always shared her life with dogs, especially German Shepherds.
Published date: December 10, 2022
Updated date: August 9, 2023
This article was reviewed and fact checked If you have found any errors, please contact us!

The Complete Guide On Natural Death VS Euthanasia In Dogs

Having a dog is a wonderful thing. They become your best friend, because you do everything together!

Dogs are one of those things that bring great joy into our lives.

That’s why it can be so hard to say goodbye when the time comes. 

Many dog owners find it incredibly difficult to make the decision to euthanize their pets, and some simply just don’t agree with it.

But is it inhumane to let your dog die naturally?


As your dog grows older, they may show signs that they are ready to go.

A dog ages much more quickly than a human, so you may be surprised how quickly their health can decline.

One minute you have a playful pup, and the next your dog is getting all gray around the muzzle, and it’s getting harder to make those long walks. 

There are a few things that you can look out for to see whether your dog’s health is decreasing, or whether they are ready to go.  

Signs Your Dog Is Dying

You must have heard the stories.

So many dog owners report that they felt their dog knew they were going to pass away, and that there were signs of this.

Dogs can change their behavior dramatically when they are about to die. 

Some dogs will retreat within themselves, and show no interest in you, their toys, food, or life in general.

They will instead remain in one place, and calmly wait for their time to come.

Other dogs will go somewhere to hide, or may run away to pass away peacefully by themselves, and save you from seeing them. 

In other cases, some dogs will seek more affection and attention in their final days as they sense that it could be their last with you.

However, there are some warning signs that your dog is ready to pass on. 

These are an extreme loss of interest, where dogs will not want to go for walks, get up out of bed, play with toys or interact with anyone.

They may also become extremely fatigued, tired and lacking energy. This is a sign that their bodies are slowly shutting down. 

Dogs that are ready to pass on often refuse food, lose their appetites and do not drink water either.

They may also become incontinent as they lose control of their bladder and bowels because of their organs shutting down. 

If your dog is suffering with these symptoms then call a veterinarian for advice and help.

They can determine whether these symptoms are alarming based on your dog’s age and its medical history, and can provide you with options for the best course of treatment.

In some cases, it can be more humane to put the dog to sleep.


Is It Inhumane To Let A Dog Die Naturally?

When you are a dog owner, you will do anything for your dog.

You love them like a part of your family, and you want to do right by them.

So, you could be wondering whether it is best to euthanize your dog, and whether it is inhumane to let them die naturally.

In some cases, prolonging your pet’s life with medication and treatment will only put them through more pain and suffering.

Although you will want to keep them around for as long as possible, perhaps your dog does not enjoy life anymore. 

Many old dogs can accept their fates, and no longer have an interest in you because their quality of life has declined so dramatically due to ill health or old age.

Despite the fact you may feel guilty for putting your dog to sleep, sometimes it is in the best interest of the dog to pass away peacefully through euthanasia instead of being in pain and dying naturally. 

However, if your dog is very anxious, does not do well in the vet’s office, and can become very stressed when faced with car journeys or the veterinarian, then it could be too painful and traumatic for them to be taken to the veterinarian and euthanized.

In those cases it may be more beneficial for your dog to stay at home, and pass naturally.

That being said, some veterinarians will offer a service where they can come to your home to euthanize your dog, for those who cannot travel to the vet’s office. 

Euthanasia can sound scary, but we promise it is often in your dog’s best interest.

It is a painless procedure, that is handled with dignity, respect and care, where your dog simply just falls asleep.

You can be there for them, hold them and pet them as they pass on in a very graceful manner, without pain or suffering. 


Should I Let My Dog Die Naturally? 

Whether you decide to euthanize your dog or let them die naturally is entirely up to you.

Only you know your dog fully, and you can decide what is best for them.

The decision should be based upon your pet’s welfare, their personality, your personal beliefs and whether your dog is in any pain or not. 

To help you decide whether to let your dog die naturally or not, there are a few things that you need to consider.

For instance, does your dog have a health condition where they are in a lot of pain, if so, then it may be difficult for them to pass away peacefully, and euthanasia may be the right choice. 

You also have to think about whether you can handle watching your dog’s health decline, or possibly finding them one morning passed away in your home.

An important factor in many people’s decisions is how the dog will feel. 

If the dog is one that gets embarrassed or seems ashamed when it has an accident, then leaving an old, incontinent dog to slowly pass away does not let them die with dignity, which is something you also need to consider. 


To summarize, one of the biggest things you need to ask yourself is who are you keeping your dog alive for.

Is it for their wellbeing, or because you cannot face living without them.

It is vital that you consider the dog’s quality of life in making this decision.

Are they happy as they are, or do they seem ready to go?

This is the simplest way to decide whether euthanasia or a natural death is the correct path for you and your dog. 

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