Top 10 Causes of Death in Dogs and How to Prevent Them

 Top 10 Causes of Death in Dogs and How to Prevent Them

Dogs are more than just pets. For most of us, they are family. This makes keeping them safe and secure a top priority. To keep you in the loop about the most common threats to dogs’ well-being, here’s a list of the most common causes of deaths in dogs- and ways to prevent them.

1. Poisoning

There are a lot of substances in your home that can potentially cause poisoning in dogs. Some of them are the foods and medicines you take every day. Even tick products and your pet’s medications can risk his life.


The critical thing to remember when preventing dog poisoning is to avoid exposure. Tuck away all your medications in areas where they can’t easily be reached, and ensure they are correctly labeled. Keep all pesticides in high areas as well. When buying plants, make sure they are nontoxic to ensure your pet’s safety.

2. Hit by Car

Dogs dying after getting hit by a car is devastating. Because most incidents happen unexpectedly and suddenly, many pet owners have difficulty coping with this loss.


Always make it a point to put your dog on a leash whenever you take him out for a walk. Do the same if you bring him to areas with many cars. Since dogs can react differently to situations, staying safe is always a good idea. Aside from proper leashing, you should also consider teaching your dogs how to avoid cars.

3. Liver Failure

There are tons of factors that can cause liver failure in dogs- physiological, chemical as well as physical. Despite being common, diagnosing the condition can be difficult, particularly during the early stages. Most pet owners only realize that their dogs’ livers are failing when symptoms such as jaundice, enlarged abdomen, and bloody vomiting appear.


Feed your dog high-quality food and ensure he’s getting a balanced diet. It’s also recommended that you keep his vaccinations against infectious canine hepatitis up to date. Never let your dog roam around areas where he can quickly get in contact with poisonous plants, standing water, or insects.

4. Dog Eaters

People eating dogs aren’t that uncommon. In fact, it’s considered a tradition in some parts of Asia. It’s linked to more muscular stamina and better luck.


Do not let your dog get in a situation where he can run freely around. Ensure you are always with him whenever he needs to go outside.

5. Parvo Virus

Parvovirus is highly contagious and deadly. Once your dog becomes infected with it, you need to seek early treatment to increase his chances of surviving.


The best protection against parvovirus is to keep your dog’s vaccination updated. It can also help to limit his exposure to other dogs, particularly those you know aren’t vaccinated or are strays.

6. Canine Distemper

Canine distemper has no known cure, which makes it highly fatal for dogs. It can affect your dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous system.


Like parvovirus, vaccinating your dog can save him from getting infected by canine distemper. You should also limit his exposure to affected animals until he completes his shot.

7. Complications from Anesthesia

Dogs dying from anesthesia is not an urban myth. It happens, and it’s pretty standard. One of its most common causes is the lack of proper health screening and assessment before the induction of anesthesia. Improper anesthetic techniques can lead to a dog’s death as well.


Every dog that needs to be anesthetized should be appropriately screened. They should have pre-anesthetic blood work and be closely observed during intubation until extubation. Dogs who have successfully made it to the recovery room aren’t guaranteed safe from anesthesia complications.

8. Suffocation

Death by suffocation among dogs tends to happen quickly. They can get their heads trapped in bags of snacks and treats. They can get stuck in boxes and plastic bags; before you know it, they’re already out of breath.


Throw away any items that can pose a risk to your dogs, and ensure you’ve scanned the house thoroughly. The list includes cereal bags, resealable bags, and pet food bags. Even if you think your dog is too big to fit in them, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.

9. Vet Malpractice

Pets dying from vet malpractice isn’t uncommon, but the percentage of pet owners filing cases against veterinarians isn’t that great. One good reason is that most pet owners aren’t aware of what constitutes malpractice. Since veterinarians are skilled and educated about pet care, they can easily manipulate events to clean their hands.


Ensure you only bring your dog to a licensed and experienced vet. Ask for his certificates and identifications just to be sure. It’s also a good idea to ask around your neighborhood about what kind of treatment your local vet provides. You should get a good idea by asking his previous clients.

10. Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in dogs. However, once detected early, it’s highly curable. It can develop at any age or part of your dog’s body.


For prevention, you should limit your dog’s exposure to toxic chemicals, such as insecticides, weed killers, and pesticides. You should also be careful when using tick and flea products. Try to use items made from natural or organic ingredients as much as possible.


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