Why do dogs die with their eyes open? (Loss coping tips)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Why do dogs die with their eyes open? We will give a few tips to cope with the loss of your pet, explain the phases of mourning and what you should do in order to honour the memory of your dog and feel better.

Why do dogs die with their eyes open?

If a dog dies with their eyes open or closed depends on the situation in which he abandons you. That he leaves us with his eyes open does not mean that he has suffered more, that he has his eyes closed does not mean that he has done it in peace. Don’t beat yourself up over this question.

Many people are surprised by the emotions that arise after the death of their four-legged companion, their dog. They come to feel, even guilty, for the pain they feel. In these moments it is worth remembering that our dog was part of our life, our routine and our home. In addition to the love we came to feel for him, he was family, friend, and partner.

Often, we are not aware that not only do we mourn for the animal we love so much, but we also mourn the loss of that happy time in our life, for all that it has given us during that time and for the bonds that it helped. to create with other people and animals, which have become important to us.

The smallest of the house and the elderly who live with the only company of their dog, are the people most affected by this loss. We must not leave them alone and we must be attentive to their emotional state.

It is important to take care of yourself during this difficult time. We should not be ashamed of feeling pain and crying for a being who has accompanied us for so long and throughout his life.

 The dog has probably lived a large part of its life with us. We have seen him grow up and become an adult and even an old man. It is normal to feel apathetic at your departure, not wanting to see people, not in the mood for anything, even not wanting to eat …

Surely there will be people who do not understand these feelings or know how to value the sadness they cause (especially those who have always thought that “it is nothing more than a dog”). The company of other animal lovers can be essential. In these moments, it is more important than ever to have someone to share feelings with. Make an effort to talk about the loss.

The phases of mourning the loss of your dog

Those people who have lost a beloved dog will understand me perfectly when reading this. It is necessary to talk about our animal and how we feel about its absence with those who know how to understand us. 

It will be precise during these days, especially hard, when each one must face, in their way, the loss. These are bitter days but that, in the long run, we must go through because it is necessary to assimilate the departure of a loved one such as our dog.

Now is the time to overcome the different phases of the grieving. In reality, it is a process of emotional adjustment, after the loss of a loved one, during which various emotions compete with each other. 

It has different stages that can be explained separately but are rarely presented in an orderly way. They can overlap and mix, but to complete the assimilation process, you have to experience them all.

Surely there will be better or worse days, and sometimes what was thought to be overcome is felt again. There are many classifications but, I prefer this one (based on the Kübler-Ross model) which is the one I identify with the most:

The negation – Denial is the first stage of grief, it occurs when we flatly refuse to accept the loss. You don’t want to believe what happened. You don’t think it will ever come back.

Anger – With oneself or with others. It is the anger, rage, anger, fury and anger that we feel when we know that it has happened, that it is true, that our loved one has died.

The negotiation – Negotiation is the stage where we try to make some kind of deal, pact or agreement in some way. After death, you go back and analyze the situation and what would have happened if the circumstances had changed. All of us wonder right now what would have happened to do this or that….

The Depression – At this stage, people feel distressed, fearful, grief-stricken, we often cry, and, in a way, we feel guilty or sorry. We begin to realize that the loss is irrevocable and that we must continue to live, without the presence of something so important in our lives.

The acceptation – Acceptance is when we again feel ready to accept the fact of the death of our four-legged friend. We are aware that he will never return and we return to our lives more calmly. This does not mean that we stop thinking about them (as they will always accompany us in our thoughts), but that we can move on accepting the fact that they will never be by our side again.

Learning to overcome sadness after losing your dog

In these moments, it is necessary to have the opportunity to be sad and the freedom to express it with family and trusted friends. This step is not easy, but it is essential to face the death of the animal in the best possible way.

Bitterness shouldn’t be the only feeling in the memory of our dog. In these sad moments, it is good to recover the moments shared with the dog and try to stay with that pleasant feeling.

Some simple tips that can help us face the loss of our dog in the most positive way possible are:

  • Feel free to cry – Tears express the pain we feel and help to release inner anguish. It is normal to miss a loved one and admitting it is the first step in coping with the loss.
  • Never blame yourself for its absence – It is something common, especially in situations of traumatic and sudden losses such as those that occurred as a result of an accident or a flash illness.

That these feelings arise is something normal, since we feel responsible for the welfare of our animal and we do not understand how it could have happened. In either case, our friend is gone forever and there is no point in looking for culprits.

  • When good memories gain ground to pain –  The pleasant memories have been many and the good moments shared will always be there. Over time, the grey sensation disappears, giving way to the calm produced by the calm memory of our furry friend.

 Things we must not lose sight of

The impact caused by the death of the canine companion can be as intense as the one we feel when a loved relative is lost.

It is necessary to have the opportunity to be sad, even to cry, if necessary, and the confidence to express it to family and friends.

The feeling of guilt is normal and we must assimilate it as part of the process of overcoming the death of the dog.

Patience is a good ally: The time and memory of the good moments shared with the dog, help to assimilate the loss.

The pain caused by the death of a loved one can be intense and long-lasting, but sooner or later it subsides.

 What can we do to overcome the pain of losing a dog

Write a farewell letter.

Writing a letter dedicated to the lost dog helps to organize ideas and express feelings. In a few words, you can collect the labyrinth of feelings that we go through and thank our dog, the time he has dedicated to us and everything he has contributed in our life.

Prepare something to remember in the future, it can be a good way to start coping with the loss.

Depending on our ideology and budget, we can hold a small farewell ceremony. There are animal cemeteries that can help us with this task and there are even web pages to remember our furry forever. This action has the triple function of calming the initial pain, venting to family and close friends and saying goodbye to your friend, especially telling him what the time you have shared has meant.

Learn to live with routines

The time you have shared was full of schedules and routines that can now become a heavy burden. It is advisable to maintain, at least for a time, those habits. Go out and walk; Smile at those who have been your dog’s park companions and enjoy the places you travelled with him while remembering everything you have shared, the time you spent together, the games, the laughs and the good times.

Little by little, you will be able to substitute routines for other activities that are pleasant to you because it is important to continue with the feeling of being able to remember our dog whenever we feel the need, but always with a smile on our lips because we have been able to learn to live without his presence.

It is irreplaceable.

Never adopt a dog to replace the missing one. Comparisons are hateful and it is difficult to appreciate the new animal as it is, when we try to recognize the dog that is no longer there. Each one is unique, with a different personality and a particular way of behaving. Take your time before taking the plunge. Once you have accepted the death of your dog, then you will be ready to adopt another and give all that love you feel for these animals.

Final thoughts

The loss of our dog is a difficult time, without a doubt, but we must not lose sight that, over time, the memories turn into something pleasant and the pain dissipates. The time that the animal has given us is something that we will value even more and we must bear in mind that it has always been and will always be a loved and remembered member of the family.

There is no set period for the sentence to remit, but what is certain is that it will.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know.

FAQ on Why do dogs die with their eyes open?

Can dogs sense their death?

In most cases, when it’s due to natural causes, dogs can sense their death. It is believed that dogs have some sort of sixth sense that lets them know their time is ending. 

Why do dogs isolate themselves when dying?

Dogs isolate themselves when dying because they are weaker and cannot defend themselves against possible dangers. They also want to rest and spend time in a quiet and calm place. 

Do dogs know you love them?

Yes, dogs know we love them. Dogs and humans can create a really special relationship and this is proven by the fact that our oxytocin levels go up high when we play or even when we just stare at our dog!

Can a dog wake up after euthanasia?

No, a dog cannot wake up after euthanasia. However, it makes it more peaceful and it makes it possible for you to hold your pet at the final moment.





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