Why do dogs go off to die?


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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – Is this an old wives tale or is it true that dogs will crawl off to die? If so, what do they do this?

Beverly E. - Newport


Hi – thanks for your email Beverly. You asked if it is an old wives tale that when dogs are sick – they essentially crawl off to die?

This is essentially true. Dogs and cats both will "hide" when they don't feel well. I believe this is a survival instinct that helps hide them from predators when they are vulnerable.

Thanks for your question.

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.