Although the symptoms can vary, common warning signs that a pet is dying include lethargy, difficulty moving and incontinence, according to The Pet Loss Support Page. If the pet is suffering from a specific illness, tests may show that it is no longer responding to treatment.
Some pets stop eating and drinking toward the ends of their lives, notes Found Animals. They often lose interest in things that normally make them excited, such as going for walks or getting their favorite treats. Some lie down and do not get up, even when they have to relieve themselves. Others seek more attention from their owners because they find it comforting. Some pets have trouble breathing or suffer from seizures.
The specific signs can vary depending on what diseases the animal suffers from and other factors, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It recommends assessing dying pets on a scale of one to 10 in several categories, such as whether the animal is able to move and eat normally. If the pet has a low score and there are no treatments to pursue, it may be time to have a veterinarian euthanize the animal. Many pets begin suffering well before they die of natural causes, so humane euthanasia may be easier on both the pet and the owner.