How to Comfort Your Dog Who is Dying

by Danielle MacKinnon

How to comfort your dog who is dying

5 Tips for How to Comfort Your Dog Who is Dying

When our beloved pup is going through the dying process, most of us want nothing more than to make sure they’re not suffering.

As an Animal Communicator, I’ve psychically connected with thousands of animals as they approach and experience the dying process and afterwards as well. Based on what they have shared with me over the years, there are five things you can do right now to help your dog who is getting ready to leave their body.

Tip Five: Treat your dog as normally as you can

Dogs, like all animals, are naturally clued in to, not just what we do in our daily lives, but also how we feel, our energy, and even what we think. A lot of people react to this part of their dog’s life by wanting to hole away with their dog – maybe by crying on the sofa a lot, maybe by watching him like a hawk all night… but what do dogs ask for here? Normalcy! Regular meal times, and as many of the fun things they used to do with you as possible. When you suddenly let go of all the routine and fun stuff, it can feel jarring! Even if you have to adapt some of those fun things (like, carrying your dog to their favorite spot on the lake), continuing to do your normal, happy stuff as long as your dog has the ability to enjoy it, assists him in feeling safe and comfortable.

Tip Four: Manage your energy FOR your pup

Dogs that are going through this process request for me to ask their humans to remember to take care of themselves emotionally. When we, as the loving, grieving human beings we are don’t take care of our energy (I’ll show you how in a moment), we tend to dump our upset on our dying pup. If you think of this upset as energy, now your pup is having to not only manage their own experience, but they also have to deal with the energy we’re putting on them as well. What does that look like? Well, it could be that you won’t let your dog out of your sight, or that you’re holding him and crying and crying and crying. It could also be that you’re moving into extreme babying (animals don’t enjoy being babied like baby humans do). How to manage your energy?

First, before spending time with – or even checking – on your pet, take a few deep breaths. Calm yourself. This doesn’t mean that you can cry if you need to, I mean, who can help that? But crying every single time you’re together, this is a lot of energy! Also, as your dog is going through this process remember to eat well, drink water and generally take care of yourself. Your responsibility throughout is to hold space for him and it’s very hard to do that if you’re feeling terrible all the time. 

Tip Three: Allow your dog the space they’re asking for

Dogs (and all animals)  may not want to be hovered over as they are going through the dying process. As human beings, we love that. When I am dying, for example, I want my friends and family all around me, holding my hand and showering me with love (at least, this is what I think I want now).

Animals are different. They commonly ask for space. Sometimes they just want to alone for this process. This isn’t because your dog doesn’t love you – it’s simply about space. The act of letting go of the physical body takes some otherworldly concentration. This is why your dog may get spacey and seem out of it at some points. If you can avoid taking this personally (he doesn’t love me! He doesn’t want me around!) and can instead settle into the fact that he just needs some space to go through this change, you’ll be giving your dog the ability to concentrate on himself – instead of managing you. Now, that doesn’t mean don’t check on him, or touch him. It just means that if you notice that he’s moving away from you, let that happen.

Simply easing up a bit is the number three answer to your question: how to comfort your dog who is dying.

Tip 2: Let your dog have the plan they want

When you’re really wondering how to comfort your dog who is dying, you might find this one a little challenging. Dogs have shown me, through my intuitive communications with them, that they actually PLAN their passing. They’ve come into our lives to do a job (see the next list item), and when that job is complete, it’s time to move on. At the Soul Level, they don’t view death and dying as negative. Instead, they it as moving from one level, to the next level (like graduating from 8th grade and moving on to High School). When dogs plan their passing, they’re taking into account every everything, including you. They decide who will be there when they cross over, what they will cross over of (ie an accident, old age, a disease, euthanasia…) and even where it will happen.

How do you know if you’re following their plan? You do what feels right. And what do you do if you don’t like their plan? There’s no way around it – from a very deep level, they are driving the bus on their passing. This means that you can’t actually make a mistake here. How it occurs, even if you think you did it “wrong” won’t actually be wrong. There’s something more to it (and reading the next bullet point may help with that!). Your dog will feel comforted when you go with what “feels” right to you – as that’s their way of letting you know what they want.

Tip 1: Become aware of how this passing may be helping YOU

This may be the most important answer to, “how to comfort your dog who is dying” as takes into account that there is something more at work here! There is more to an animal than so many people realize. Animals have deep, gracious souls that are in our human lives to help us evolve our own souls. Yes, that’s right! Animals use our experience with them to give us opportunities to look at ourselves with new eyes (you can read more about this in my Animal Lessons book) and when they have done their job – meaning, when they have helped you grow in the way they came here to help you grow – they typically leave their bodies to move on to the next place (ie animal heaven, the Rainbow Bridge, etc.).

**If your dog is getting ready to cross over, this symbolizes that the two of you have reached an important place in your relationship! When you can embrace this deep, soul level aspect of your connection with your dog, your dog will feel, not only comforted, but also elated that you continue to learn from them!

BONUS TIP: Talk to your dog about your relationship once he passes

I know you read this because you want to know how to comfort your dog who is dying, but there is much more to it than the before. There is also an after! This is something that most people don’t realize! There is a reason that I can communicate psychically with animals that have crossed over – and it’s because they are STILL accessible! They hang out with us, they watch over us, and they even send us our next animal – all from the Other Side! So, your dog really can continue to have a relationship even after he passes over. He can send you signs to let you know he’s around, he can show up in dreams, and you can still talk with him! During this challenging time, remember that this isn’t an ending – it is about a change for both of you. Reminding your dog (which is really just reminding you) that you can still be in touch after this process has completed can help solidify things for continuing your connection afterwards.

26 replies
  1. nicole Russell
    nicole Russell says:

    Daniel MacKinnon, if someone had tried to tell me this five years ago…. I would have not been able to comprehend any of this! I truly wish that I had known about your books, website and your abilities! In GRIEF I had searched high and low! My father had passed away unexpectedly and suddenly! 30 day’s, later my baby Holly was leaving this world!
    This truly is the best advice!!!!
    GRIEF!!! Natural….and we all need to process in our own way! I have learned through out all of my personal GRIEF process; I was blocking sign’s! I was too upset! I don’t think I had ever gone through so much pain in such a short time! I wasn’t looking for signs, I was just feeling SAD for me and my loss!
    Here is my story, first off… father unexpectedly and suddenly passed away! I was devastated and so was our family!
    Loss, sadness, grief… Unbearable!!! Heavy!!!
    Then,….. 30 day’s later Holly! My girl of saying hey I’m still here!
    I completely understand this now! , My world, my baby, my best friend! My DOG!
    WHY!!!!!! How cruel could this world be!!!!
    I was completely broken!!!!
    Here is our story….oh boy is there ever a purpose! Daniel MacKinnon one hundred percent TRUE!!! Don’t doubt!!!! Even if you do doubt, our animals have this incredible way of ensuring that we eventually get there message! No ONE really is ever left out! Pretty incredible and VERY talented! I am greatful!

    I lost my beloved girl (dog) Holly after 16 years! She lived until she was 17 years old.
    Border collie cross!
    Holly, came into my life when I had no intention of getting a dog, but my BEST friend, who doesn’t even associate(like) with dogs found her. While she was studying at a college mate’s home! My best friend, begged me to take her! Telling me I needed this dog as much as this dog needed me! Begged me!!! To take her away from her abused, horrific life!

    I agreed! I had to now figure out how to make this work! I was working 12 hour shifts. Two day shifts and then I would go into two 12 hour night shifts!!! It was hard! Two weeks in, I was guilt ridden of leaving her for all these hours!
    But the universe and spirit has an incredible way of making things happen! My manager told me to bring Holly to work with me! I did!!!
    Holly, ended up working with me for 16 years on the floor!!! With the highest behaviors in mental health. Who would have thought this!!! Holly, already knew what her job and purpose was with me!!! Holly, saved my life, staff’s lives and truly loved her patients! Incredible story! Too long to write here!
    Holly truly broke my heart when she transitioned! My best friend… gone! WORST part was my father passed unexpectedly and suddenly thirty days prior to Holly.
    My point being is this, if your fur baby is ready to transition, please do refer to Daniel MacKinnon! I have learned so much more than I ever expected! I have been able to photograph orbs from Holly visiting me! I had to let go of my GRIEF! My GRIEF was stopping me! It wasn’t easy to do!
    Now I always try to say, NOT gone!!! NOT RIP for your baby!!! Energy does not die!!! Soul’s do not die!!! I learned this from Holly!!! Instead I now say RBYS…always be Resting By Your Side forever!
    YOU, just need to speak, like you always have done, and start feeling this energy!
    Holly, four months after she transitioned started sending me visions and would come in my dreams. I was to find this black puppy with a white left back toe! I thought it was her reincarnated! I was seriously looking non stop!
    THEN……I one day was driving with my mom, who I had just picked up to go for a hike in the forest (broken hearted) still!!!
    I had this PULL to drive down the road!!! My mom questioned me, I pulled into a driveway on an acreage! There tied to a porch was a black dog, with one back leg white left toe on the deck! My mom said, WHY are we here!!! I had no clue!!! I did not know them!!! Odd!!! BUT, again a soul purpose……My mom knew these people!!!!!
    I asked permission to walk their dog! He looked like Holly, and acted like I had known him forever! I though was still searching for my reincarnated Holly puppy with this white toe on the Left back leg!!! Months went by, four!!! I picked up Shadow every single day, until he cried when I left him! His owner’s finally offered him to be MINE! I had to make a choice, as my mind wanted to keep looking for a reincarnated Holly!
    I looked at shadow and realized, this is WHAT HOLLY was showing me! HOLLY,
    HELPED FIND SHADOW AND MADE SURE I GOT THIS! Signs, my brain wanted to interrupt differently! My heart always knew!
    My gift from Holly is my boy, Shadow!!!
    (which btw I never wanted a male dog)
    Holly, ensured me that I would connect and have him! What a gift! I could question life, death our purpose our animals purpose or soul contract’s! I now just know that nothing EVER dies!❤️ I hope my story helps someone else!

  2. Katie
    Katie says:

    I had a similar situation to kel, my beloved 19 year old cat ‘sage’ had kidney disease, he was painfully thin, he had to wear jumpers and sit on a hot waterbottle to keep warm, but yet he seemed to be happy. One day I realised he was holding on for me, as I had gone through a few tough years with him constantly at my side. I told him one day, that I was fine, and although I would miss him terribly, I wanted him to pass over when he was ready, and four days later he did.
    This was 3 years ago and I still feel him around. There is no love greater than a beloved pet.

  3. Judy
    Judy says:

    Thank you Danielle for being you. I am grieving about my little boy,Khrshack,my little 15 year old cockapoo. He made his transition 2 weeks ago. I hope I do hear from him. That question from someone who said what about animals that are tortured by humans disturbed me. Please help me understand that for the animal.

  4. Cindi
    Cindi says:

    I had to put my Buddy down several years ago and I still carry the guilt of doing so but I felt I had no choice. I would like to know if he would still be with me even though I have moved several times and didn’t really ever think about him still being around me. Would he still come to me? Would it be only when I think of him? I had a wonderful connection with him during your beach meditation, I cried then and now remembering it again.

  5. Theresa Ann Hannah
    Theresa Ann Hannah says:

    thank you Danielle, watching you with john Holland and listening to what you have written has been a godsent to me. 4 my pets that have crossed over since 2013. visit me in my dreams. I truly believe you are right with my babys helping me find another. shiloh, my Alaskan malamute that was taken from me 2013..doctors gave her the wrong meds. (she was also a cancer survivor) since her passing..I now am honored to have her great grandniece( I recued willow from the breeder during a firestorm in ca.) lost my rosie last june…my heart. she visits me in my dreams. yes,i am also a student of mediumship. thank you Danielle for all you do!

  6. Sahar
    Sahar says:

    Thank you so much! My dog was trying to hide all night before she passed away but I didn’t let her I held on to her until the very end. I feel bad for not honouring her wishes but she was only 9 and I could not let her go. She had no other signs of sickness she simply wasn’t herself that night.
    I starting to accept and understand that they are planning their passing and starting to see the bigger lesson here. Thanks to Anna Marie and you 🙏🏼🙏🏼but looking back I think she could have had couple things going on that I thought maybe she needs to go to the vet for but she since she was happy and healthy otherwise (eating, drinking water, going to the bathroom, walking, jumping, hiking) and was manageable at home so I didn’t take her. Now I think maybe that could have prevented her early passing. I know it was planned but am I still considered a responsible and a loving pet owner? Would the outcome still be the same? I treated Pecan like my own two daughters.

  7. Tom Reardon
    Tom Reardon says:

    All I can say is “Thank You”. You pretty much confirmed my general feelings on this. We lost or Mollie girl 3 weeks ago and it was a smooth, peaceful process. She was that one animal that you deeply connect with in your life. The light of my life. You know “The One.” I still speak to her and feel her presence. We just adopted a new pup this week and it played out so prefectly that I suspect she had a lot to do with it. You words ring true and it helps so much as we are going through this process of change. Thanks again Danielle.

  8. Marion
    Marion says:

    Our beloved 16-year-old cat Béla was going steadily downhill and we had an unavoidable overseas trip coming up. So I had a serious talk with him and told him that I wanted him to decide — either go into professional care and hang in there until we returned, or cross over before we left. He ended up crossing over just a week before we left, which gave us time to make the necessary arrangements. At the time of his passing, I was upset because the vet and my husband both insisted on euthanasia and overrode me (I believed that a natural death was better for him), but having read your comments I can accept this now. Also, my friend told me that Béla came to her in a dream afterwards and told her that he was fine with what had happened. On my way home from the vet after he passed, I imagined him rollicking ecstatically in a beautiful flowery field, and somehow I am sure he is very happy now!

    • Marion
      Marion says:

      P.S. My husband tells me he distinctly heard Béla meowing in his usual way just before I arrived home from work!

  9. Christine
    Christine says:

    I 100% agree with this blog post. I have an older cat who is starting to decline and I just follow his lead. I have asked him to let me know when he’s ready to go and told him I’m ok with what he decides. Animals are amazing! ❤️❤️

    • Christa Bouchie
      Christa Bouchie says:

      My sons dog whom is 12 1/2 years old has congestive heart failure like his sister. He was diagnosed last October the day she had passed away 5 years earlier. He is fighting but is finding his limitations. He has his good days and bad days and is as spoiled as he has ever been. The only thing I don’t want to have happen is him suffering any more than he wants to. He struggles to breathe so often but reminds us he just is getting old. His service human (that’s what we call my second oldest whom he is attached to) is deployed in Kuwait and we have prepared him that his dog may not be here when he gets home next year. His only response was he will know (Pepper) when he is ready and he, my son, will know when he passes. We still have Bella, Peppers older sister, that drops in occasionally; she passed away 5 years ago from the same thing and Jasper her brother little crazy thing he was. Then we will just have our two insane rescues who drive us crazy! The male likes to pee on the corner of my husbands chair for some reason and hasn’t done it but twice In the last six months but still….. and he goes into panic mode when he can’t find me it sit right on my lap! After these two pass I am going to take a break I think with fur babies…

  10. Lynda
    Lynda says:

    What about dogs and cats in some countries that end up dying from torture and pain before being boiled alive, did they choose to die that way was that the plan?

    • Danielle MacKinnon
      Danielle MacKinnon says:

      If you’re asking about the grand plan, yes, the grand plan still exists even in this terrible situations. As humans (and for me especially), it’s hard to understand the big picture, when I only have my human understanding of it. But I trust what the animals have been telling me, despite how hard and really horrible it is.

  11. Kel
    Kel says:

    Would this apply to a cat too? Our 20 year old Siamese is dying from kidney disease, but she is still very close to her most loved human (my son)- sleeps with him and basically doesn’t leave his side. She has lost a lot of weight but still derives pleasure from his company by wanting held and picked up. We (vet, son and I) don’t feel now is the time for euthanasia. I think she will let me know when it is her time.

    • Kel
      Kel says:

      So strange after I typed the first response, my cat appeared out of nowhere and jumped in my lap and looked into my eyes. I asked her is it time or do you think he still needs you. She jumped down and walked to his room.

    • Danielle MacKinnon
      Danielle MacKinnon says:

      This applies to all animals, including cats, fish, birds, etc.
      Sending love to you, your son, and your 20-year old Siamese.
      Trust that you’ll get the message – and that your cat is working to ensure you get the message!
      Love and Light,

  12. Katie
    Katie says:

    Hi. I wish to learn animal communication, but I am scared that one of my pets will tell me something I don’t want to hear, like I’m dying. How do you cope with this?

    • Danielle MacKinnon
      Danielle MacKinnon says:

      Hi Katie – what is cool about animals and how they communicate is that EVERYTHING they share with us is shared with love. Plus, they are always aware of the big picture so they know what is best for you to hear (ie what will help you in the long run, the most). I’ve found that knowing how to do animal communication has made pretty much every situation with animals in my life BETTER. I hope that helps,

    • Mike
      Mike says:

      My soulmate. My big boy passed last October. It was very hard. At the time I had no knowledge of animal souls. A lot has happened since which has opened my eyes. Thank you.


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