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Pets getting old and passing away

Hey, I have a dog (a Dalmatian) who I've had since he was a puppy. He's now 13 and a half and lives at my mum's place. I see him every week or two and I love him to bits. When I was younger he was the one I cuddled up to when times were tough. We consider him to be part of the family. I know he's getting old and won't be in this world forever but I really hate to think of him not being here. How am I going to cope when he eventually passes away?? Has anyone had a similar experience and have some advice?

Re: Pets getting old and passing away

Hey JTG,

You've raised an important topic that can be quite difficult to think about. I have a dog and the thought of him passing away would be really, really sad. Pets a lot of the time are someone's best friend and one of the most important relationships in someone's life.

I don't have an experience I can share but perhaps others might? I guess similar to a death of a person though, it's important to give yourself time to grieve and talk to someone and ask for support if you need it. The death of a pet can be just as devastating as a death of a person you're close to. A factsheet that may be helpful for this situation is the one on Suggestions for managing grief:

Re: Pets getting old and passing away

Hey justthatgirl.


I lost my dog Lucy at the end of last year...she'd been in the family for about 9 years, and I'll be honest, it was tough. Unfortunately we can never know when it's going to happen, but the best thing you can do is spend time with him, show him lots of love and make the most of it Smiley Happy it's no good worrying about what might happen when he's still here and eager for attention. 


Re: Pets getting old and passing away


Hey JustThatGirl,


I think that because pets aren't human, a lot of people assume that it is silly to grieve for them, or at least grieve for them in a similar way to how we feel sad when we lose friends and relatives. But when a pet is such a close member of the family, as is clearly the case with your dog, I think it is perfectly natural to feel concerned about losing him. 


You are right, you probably will feel sad and find it really tough when he does finally go to 'doggy heaven', but my advice would be to just focus for now on enjoying having him around while you still have him, and worry about what is to come when inevitably it does come... hopefully in the distant future!

Re: Pets getting old and passing away

I mis my kitty Smiley Happy Glad shes chiling in heaven!



Inspire All Smiley Happy

Re: Pets getting old and passing away

Hi JustThatGirl,

I have had several of my dogs pass away, more dogs than humans actually. So far I've found their deaths harder.
Each of my situations has been different to yours as they all went young. There was one though where I had been expecting it sooner rather than later, that expectation was one of the things that helped the most when he was gone. I hated the expectation when he was alive, it was heart-breaking, but it also reminded/forced me to somewhat accept it before it happened, it made me wrap my head around him not being there and bond in ways I otherwise mightn't have.
Make the most of your time with him now, let his age encourage you to extend the belly-rub longer, to give more pats and praise, to just sit with him.

If it's feasible it may be good to get another dog (or your mum get another dog) before he passes away. I got my current dog for my last dog, they didn't have long together but I think it provided a lot of help for both myself and my last dog that wouldn't have been there had I gotten someone after.

If you're a photo person then absolutely take your camera out whenever you're seeing him. You may even want to get a professional photo.

Re: Pets getting old and passing away

Hi JustThatGirl, 

I'm going through a similar thing. 

My dog, a beautiful golden retriever Smiley Happy, is about to turn 10 but i've noticed in the last few months that he is sleeping more and has some osteoarthritis in his legs. 

For me, my dog is my kid but he's also in some ways my best friend. I know when I get home from uni he'll be there to say hello and he's always so happy to see me. 


I think the important thing to do, really the only thing you can do, is to treasure him while he's here. Make sure you give him as many cuddles as you can... When he does pass away you'll ALWAYS have those memories and those memories are very powerful things!

Re: Pets getting old and passing away

I totatly understand how you feel about this

i had a labradore names Ruffles i got him when i was young and grew up with him.. he was my best mate.

he eventually started to get a bit old and had a heap of problems with his health, eventually we had to get him put down and it broke my heart seeing him go...


The advice i will give you is lucky for me a few months before this happened a bought another puppy a german sheppard girl named charlie. when ruffles passed having her there made it so so so much easier. ill never forget ruffles we acctually got him cremated and his urn is in our house Smiley Happy Charlie is easily the best thing thats happened to me.. i have grown such a strong bond with that dog shes like my child lol if you have the oppturnity maybe get another dog i know that deffinitly helped me out


Re: Pets getting old and passing away

Thanks for your replies @Cassie, @Magga, @BennyW, @InspireAll, @Birdeye, @dilz and @ryan08. I appreciate all your advice - I'll definitely try to give him as much love and attention as possible while he's still around. I do have a dog who lives with me and there's another dog who lives with my mum - so wouldn't be dogless Smiley Wink Keep posting your stories and advice - I'm loving reading them! Makes me feel a bit better Smiley Happy

Re: Pets getting old and passing away

This is something that has been on my mind a lot lately and is somthing that I have extreme anxiety about. Smiley Sad


I have a labrador who will be 8 in November. He has epilepsy but apart from that is very fit (which is very unusual for labs as they are normally overweight!). I have noticed lately that he has slowed down a bit. He sleeps a fair bit (although this is a side effect from being on medication) and is just not as active. Although if you get a ball out he goes back to being his old "puppy" self. He just doesn't have as many "crazy, hyperactive moments"! He is also starting to go a bit grey!


My dog has been a vital part of my life for the past 8 years. He has been there for me throughout the final years of high school (which were tough for me), he was there for me throughout all of my episodes of depression in late high school and beyond. He was there for me when my parents split up (mum and I relied on him a LOT when that happened as he was one of the few things that bought us joy). During really dark times he was one of the few things that kept me from seriously hurting myself. So it is devestating to think that at some point he will pass away and no longer be there. 


I have actually had a dog for my whole life - there has literally been about 5 days in my whole life that I have not owned a dog! But ideally I would like to get another dog when he gets older (if you buy a puppy when your dog is old it can actually increase their life expectancy as the older dog tries to keep up with the puppy!). No one will EVER replace him but there are heaps more memories to be made with a new dog. 


For now, I'm trying to enjoy my time with him as much as I can. I am also trying to make sure I keep him really fit and healthy so I am trying to walk him more to keep him active and feeding him higher quality dog food. I believe these things can help increase his life expectancy. 


But yeah, the most important thing to remember - no two dogs are the same and even though they may pass away their memories will live on forever in your heart. I still have a photo of my old dog next to my bed (but I was no where near as close to that dog as I am to this one!). 


Enjoy them and try not to worry - it will happen but no use worrying about it now!