Do you remember the overwhelming happiness when you first brought your dog home? It must have been pure joy. Getting a dog is no joke. It takes a significant amount of work. First, you need to do the research, then you weigh the pros and cons. Deciding what breed to get, choosing a puppy or an adult, and whether to buy or adopt are other things to consider before finally getting one.

Taking care of your beloved pet is no laughing matter either. It is similar to having a child. This is the reason why you are also referred to as a pet parent or fur mom or dad. You take full responsibility for this living being.  It is a dedicated commitment for 13 years or so (the average life span of a dog).

Dogs offer the only kind of love they know, loyalty. They give you unconditional love in their every waking hour. In return, they adore you. Nothing compares to the feeling you get for being a fur parent. But then, the day will come when you have to say goodbye.

Twelve Common Causes of Death in Dogs

Old age

These cherished canine companions have a shorter life expectancy than humans. When you pour yourself out to them, it’s almost always sure that you are also committing yourself to heartbreak. Dogs age like humans do. They will become less active, develop joint problems, lose their senses, and go into dementia.

Help your dog live longer by feeding it a healthy and balanced diet. Keeping it physically and mentally active also keeps it in tip-top shape. However, another sad reality is that many dogs don’t go into old age. Some of them pass on prematurely due to diseases and other accidental reasons.


Many substances in your home can be potential causes of poisoning in your pet. It can be your food or the medicines and supplements you take every day. Sometimes, even your pup’s very own products, such as tick powder, are harmful to it.

Prevent poisoning in your pets by avoiding exposure. Store potentially harmful objects in places where they can’t easily be reached. Carefully label them, so you don’t get confused when using them. Educate yourself about human food that is off-limits to your pets.  It would be best if you also put a lot of thought when taking home plants. Pick non-toxic varieties to ensure your pet’s safety.

Vehicular accidents

Dogs passing on after getting hit by a vehicle is undeniably devastating. Accidents happen suddenly without anybody expecting them. Coping with this type of loss can be extra painful. To avoid vehicular accidents, always use a leash whenever you take your pet out for a walk. Do it, especially if your area is on a busy street.

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Across all ages, dogs can get their heads stuck in bags of snacks and treats. They get trapped in boxes and plastic bags. The next thing you know, they’re out of breath and dying. Veer them away from possible suffocation by throwing away objects that pose a risk. Don’t take chances even if you think your dog can’t fit in them. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Canine Parvovirus

Canine Parvovirus, or CPV, is a contagious virus that affects dogs. It is highly transmissible and spreads from dog to dog by contact with their feces. If your dog becomes infected, you need to seek early intervention to increase its survival chances.

Please keep your pet protected by updating its vaccination. Limiting his exposure to other dogs, particularly stray dogs or those you know aren’t vaccinated, is another way to keep away from this disease.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly contagious and severe disease caused by a virus that affects your puppy’s or dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous system. It has no known treatment, and it is likely to be deadly.

Like Parvo, keeping your dog’s vaccination updated can protect him from getting infected by canine distemper. Avoid exposure to affected animals until their shots are complete.

Kidney Disease

Like humans, your dog’s kidneys are essential to balance nutrients in the body and filter out waste. These organs also help control blood pressure, increase red blood cell production, and help calcium metabolize. When your dog’s kidneys aren’t properly functioning, it will drastically increase water consumption. Left untreated, complications may develop, which will lead to your pet’s demise.

Keep your dog’s kidneys healthy by avoiding exposure to chemicals, medications, and food it cannot tolerate, such as grapes and raisins. Maintaining good oral health is also beneficial in several ways. Ensuring that your pet’s teeth are clean is vital for long-term health.

Liver Failure

The liver is another vital organ for humans and dogs alike. It helps in digestion, blood clotting, and removing toxins from the system. Liver disease is common, but diagnosing it can be difficult. When symptoms such as jaundice, enlarged abdomen, and bloody vomiting appear, it is only then that most pet parents notice.

Serving your dog with high-quality food and getting its vaccinations against infectious canine hepatitis up to date are reasonable preventive measures against diseases. Watch out closely if your dog roams around areas with poisonous plants, stagnant water, and insects.

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Obesity is the buildup of excess body fat.  Extra body weight and extra body fat usually go together. Most overweight dogs also have excess body fat. Obesity is a leading cause of illness and death among dogs. It is the leading risk factor for diabetes and organ complications such as heart disease, kidney, and liver disease.

Upon learning that your pup is obese or overweight, start to adjust feedings at once. Use high-quality nutritional products, decreased portions, and lessen meal frequencies. Continue adjustments until your dog achieves a healthy weight. Maintain it by ensuring your dog gets well-balanced nutrition in its feedings.


Diabetes is a chronic disease that involves metabolism. It impairs the body’s ability to convert food to energy. It has no cure, but it can be successfully managed when identified. In recent years, dogs in the US have been developing diabetes at alarming rates.

A well-balanced diet, adequate exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are sure-fire ways to prevent your canine companion from getting diabetes.

Lyme Disease

Dogs contract Lyme Disease from a tick bite. Fever, lameness, and sluggishness follow. It can be fatal if it affects the kidneys. Your pet can live with this illness long before displaying any symptoms. Perform regular preventive checks. Comb through your dog’s fur and remove ticks that you find right away.


Cancer is the leading cause of death in canines. Watch out for the classic signs:  a lump or a bump, a wound that won’t heal, swelling of any kind, enlarged lymph nodes, lameness or swelling in the bone, and abnormal bleeding. Regrettably, most symptoms are hard to recognize until it is too late.

Regular checkups, adequate exercise, and a well-balanced diet are the best way to prevent cancer from developing.

Should your canine companion’s time to pass on has come, be happy to have shared beautiful moments with it. You can honor its well-lived life by getting a pet memorial stone. 

At Rainbow Bridge Pet Memorials, you have a wide variety of choices. Put accents, quotes, flower elements, or even a mark of your dog’s paw! You can also put different details on your pet’s memorial stone. Check these out at our website to see if it fits your need.  Give us a call at 208-253-4557, and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.