Do Dogs Run Away to Die? Answers To Many Such Questions

This post is all about whether or not dogs run away to die. It’s a question that has been asked many times, but the answers have been at variance. Some people believe they do, while others are certain that they don’t.

Dogs do not run away to die. There are several reasons why they do not run away to die. They can be weak. They can be attached to their owners to go away. They may feel safe in their household or may have decreased senses like loss of smell or sight. Read on to know more. gif maker 5 1 gif maker 2021 12 01T134750.150

Claim 1: Many people have stated that dogs run away from home or run off into the woods to die when they are in pain.

Response: This is not true and remains a myth. I would like to state my reasons for believing so.

My first reason is the only authentic source I found was from the following link which is a statement from Dr.Marc Bekoff.

According to Dr. Marc Bekoff, ecologist, dogs do not run away to die.


Claim 2: Dogs run away when they are weaker to die.

Response: My second reason is based on an analysis of facts. Dogs have been called man’s best friend, dogs are known to go through separation anxiety and are also known to rejoice when they see their owner back home.

It defies logic to believe that they will run away when they are weaker and about to die.


Claim 3: A weak dog would instinctively stop moving with its pack and secure itself (hide) from predators.

Response: First of all the concept of dog in a pack is not in the right context. We are speaking about pet dogs who do not move in packs. Having said this, even assuming that there is a pack, the connection between the two words ‘weak’ and ‘instinctive’ is not correct.

My question here is very simple. How do ‘weak’ and ‘instinct’ go together? It is implied by ‘weak’ that the dog was simply unable to carry on. The dog hiding is due to ‘fear’ of predators. So being physically unfit just forces the dog to stop moving. Instinct is a totally different concept altogether.

So attributing instinct to the whole thing is something that doesn’t fit. One will have to differentiate between ‘sense’, ‘intelligence’ and ‘instinct’.


Claim 4: When a dog becomes weak, it will run away.


My fourth reason is the word ‘weakness’ in itself. A dog who is about to die would be weak and unable to move around. I don’t see a weak dog running away a long distance to a place where he won’t be fed and comforted.


Claim 5: Dogs will leave their home to run away to a safe place to die

Response: My fifth reason is leaving a ‘safe zone’ to find a safe zone. There are two parts to this.

The first part is if your dog lives in a city, he is not going to be able to find a safe zone in a city amidst traffic and chaos. He also wouldn’t be in a position to reach the outskirts, that is, if he manages to know which way to go after passing all the traffic.

The second part is, the dog is already in a safe zone when he is at home with you. My dogs know that they are nearing home when we are a street or two away. (Travelling back in the car). So, why would a dog leave a safe zone to a ‘new’ and ‘unfamiliar’ place and feel safe over there?


Claim 6: An old and weak dog will run away to die

Response: The sixth reason is ‘decreased senses’. An old dog who is just about to die would have either decreased eyesight or decreased sense of smell. It may also be unable to walk or even sick. Given all of this, a dog being able to move out to some other place is not practically feasible.


Claim 7: The old dog will hide to save itself from predators.

Response: The seventh reason is ‘hiding from predators’. This amuses me the most. After years of domestication, it is rather doubtful if a dog actually perceives a predator.

With a loving home, a loving family, a safe house, good food and toys, in some cases a companion too, I wonder how a dog would have the fear of a predator unless it’s a wild dog(in which case there is no question of running away).

Dogs owners and animal lovers alike know that dogs can be immensely loving, loyal and affectionate companions. They are known to save lives. They live with us like family under very comfortable circumstances.

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So, on the whole, a dog running away from home to die seems to defy logic. The question then arises, as to why some dogs would run away? Let’s understand why.

Why Do Some Dogs Run Away? gif maker 7 1

There are several reasons why a dog might decide to take off from home. Whatever the reason may be, you must know how best to handle this situation so that you can bring them back home safely! 


Dogs are well known to be man’s best friend, and expect companionship. Pets can get lonely just like people and this can cause them to run away from their homes.

If you notice that your pet has been acting differently than usual or if they seem upset for no reason, then there might be a chance that they want someone else in the house with them.

Dogs sometimes need to know that you love them and care about them so make sure not to leave your dog alone for too long! 

Pro Tip: If it is possible for you to have another dog,then it’s the best thing to do.

Separation Anxiety:

You may have seen a dog paw at the ground or pace back and forth when you leave for work in the morning. You might even see them sitting by the door waiting for you to return home every day like clockwork.

These are all signs that your furry friend might be experiencing separation anxiety which can lead to escape behavior such as running out an open door or jumping over a fence!

Canine Dementia:

Dogs are a man’s best friend, and that loyalty is only extended to the end of their lives. A dog can run away if it is going through canine dementia; this happens when they forget who you are and where they live.

This process takes place over time, but some warning signs will alert you before it gets bad enough for them to escape. 


Dogs can be very loyal and loving pets. They would do anything to make their owners happy and take care of them, even if it means running away from home.

If your dog is feeling depressed for any reason, they might just run away to find something new that makes them feel better.

This may seem like a bad thing at first but actually, depression in dogs is fairly common and there are ways you can help your dog through this tough time.


Dogs are always looking for exciting new things to do. If they aren’t given enough exercise or mental stimulation, your dog might find ways to entertain itself by running away.

It can be very hard to keep a dog inside the house if it is boring and has no way of entertaining itself. Dogs are like humans in many ways. They can feel bored, stressed, and even sad when they don’t get the attention that they need.

When dogs become bored it is likely for them to run away or cause other kinds of trouble around your home. This kind of behavior is usually due to a lack of exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization with people or other pets. 

Pro Tip: If your dog is being leashed, allow a longer leash to help the dog move around freely and explore. I would prefer having a pen or enclosed area for your loved one without putting on a leash all through.


For a dog, life can be frustrating. The things that make our human lives easier are often difficult for dogs to do themselves. When you’re frustrated and have no way to take out your anger, the results can be disastrous.

Running away from home is one of the most common ways pets run off and get lost in unfamiliar territory. 

Any of the aforementioned causes like separation, loneliness, boredom, etc, or a combination of them can cause the dog to get frustrated and run away.

What Are The Precautions You Can Take? gif maker 1 2

The Traditional Leash:

Having your dog on a leash is important, but making sure you have the owner’s phone number on it is even more beneficial.

If someone finds your lost pet they can easily contact you without having to go through extra measures.

The easiest way to do this is by engraving or writing your phone number on the side of the leash so that it’s visible for anyone who might need to find out who owns them!

This will save everyone time and effort in case something happens with your dog. 

The GPS Tracker:

Technology is advanced these days. It’s so advanced that there are now GPS trackers available just for your dog! This new technology allows you to easily find your pooch in the case of them getting lost or stolen. 

These devices aren’t expensive and they work by attaching a small tracker to your dog’s collar which will help you locate them via an app on your phone.

It doesn’t matter if they’re near or far away from you, the app will show where they are at all times and how fast they are going.

The Microchip:

A microchip is a tiny chip that can be placed under the skin of an animal. It contains information about its owner and all you need to do is scan it to find out who the dog belongs to.

This will help prevent dogs from being lost or stolen as they just have to be scanned for all their owners details, including name and address.

Some people don’t like this idea because they feel that if someone else has a scanner then they could steal your pet but there are ways around this such as using a PIN so only you know what it is.

The most common animals with this type of chip are cats and dogs although I have been told some horses also have them too!

Do Dogs Know They Are Going To Die? gif maker 3 1

Dogs can be very loyal and protective of their owners but they may not know what death is or that it’s approaching them. The research found that humans alone know what death is.

They’re unable to communicate with us when they feel sick, so sometimes we have to watch for certain behaviors that let us know something is wrong.

When death comes near your dog you’ll notice changes in behavior such as loss of appetite or lack of energy which are both signs that there is something wrong with them.

It’s important to take your dog to the vet if you see these changes because if left untreated it could cause more problems down the road like infection or organ failure. So make sure you keep an eye out on older dogs.

Having said this I also believe that dogs do perceive that something is going to happen to them.

Here is the story of my beloved dog Steve. Steve was diagnosed with telescoping of intestines. He underwent successful surgery too. One night he got up from his place and came to each one of us at home.

He stood for a minute with each of us. The next morning he was no more. This is the most unforgettable incident in my entire life and most heartbreaking too.

Clearly, he had said his bye and drifted away from our lives. He did not run away. He stayed with us. It becomes obvious that dogs do perceive something.

However, it’s not clear what they perceive or how much they know in this regard. I will also have to agree that Steve’s case is a one-off and cannot be the basis for a generalisation.

Logic demands a series of examples to establish a proposition. So, we will have to wait for a research paper on this topic.

How Can You Make Your Old Dying Dog Comfortable: gif maker 2 1

Providing A Soft Bed:

There is nothing worse than a dog that has to sleep on hard floors. Their joints and bones are meant for padding, not the hard ground.

And if you’ve ever seen an old dog struggle to get up from a lying position, you know how much they can suffer.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to provide your old dog with a soft bed without spending too much money.

You can make one yourself or find something at your local pet shop. A Soft bed can help your old dog.


Visiting The Vet:

Vets can be very helpful and knowledgeable about what’s going on with your old dog. Vets know dogs’ bodies well and will be able to tell when there is something wrong.

If your vet finds that Fido isn’t acting like himself, he may suggest running some blood work and prescribe some medicines to help him feel better! This will make the dog feel more comfortable in its older days.

If the vet feels the dog is suffering too much, he may advise you to take the hard decision. However, remember it’s in the dog’s best interest.

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As much as you love your old dog, his time is running out. He has gone through so many stages in life but now he just can’t keep up with them anymore.

You notice that when he tries to play with the other dogs it becomes too difficult for him and you know that if they were alone together something bad would happen.

It’s important to make sure your older dog stays safe inside an enclosed area where he doesn’t have to worry about hurting himself or being hurt by others.

Do Dogs Want To Die Alone? gif maker 6 1

Dogs are the ultimate companions. Whether they sit on your lap while you watch TV, or snuggle up next to you in bed at night, there is nothing better than a good dog when it comes to unconditional love.

Unfortunately, dogs can not live forever, and sometimes their time with us comes to an end. So what happens when it’s time for them to leave us? Do they want to be left alone? no. According to Jessica Pierce dogs do not want to die alone.

How Can You Know Your Dog Is Nearing Death? gif maker 25

The way your dog acts when he’s getting ready to pass away is different than how he normally behaves because dogs tend to act much more lethargic and tired near the end of their lives.

They also become less interested in eating or drinking which can be another sign. Most dogs won’t move much near the end because they are tired. When a dog reaches the end of its life cycle it will become visibly weaker.

His breathing may become labored. Sometimes they may pass away while asleep. Any which way it’s a painful thing to lose our darling.

But remember, it’s important he moves on to the next world without suffering. Ensuring his last moments are not painful and telling him he is loved the most, is the utmost duty of that hour.

Wrapping Up:

Dogs don’t run away to die. Dogs prefer to remake with their owners! The idea that dogs want to go off and die alone is a myth and defies logic. It’s been many years since dogs were domesticated and they sensed predators. Dogs have adapted to and bonded with humans so well that they feel safe at home with humans. All you need to do is spend time with your woofy pet and make it feel loved and wanted. gif maker 2021 11 22T222634.326

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