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Can dogs sense death?

Updated on February 18, 2012

A faithful dog stood guard over the owner’s grave for years until it died. Another one let out mournful howls at the funeral of its beloved master. Man’s best friends have demonstrated its loyalty to humans in a lot of ways. Dogs were known to grieve and show signs of mourning over the loss of its master. In the years of association with dogs, man was exposed to the peculiar behaviors of these animals. Dogs are claimed to have the ability to see spirits, ghosts and other paranormal entities not visible to the human eye. Dogs are believed to have the ability to sense death as well.

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Dogs and superstitious beliefs

Dogs have always been associated with ominous superstitions. The howling of a dog especially in the area where there is a sick person is believed to summon the reaper to take the spirit of the dead. The howling, whimpering and the unusual behaviors of a dog denote the presence of paranormal entities. Dogs have always been loved and valued. But even during the ancient times, a howling dog is feared and even loathed. These dogs are believed to be harbingers of death.  The howling of a dog on a silent night generally foretells death.

A dog’s psychic abilities

Since the beginning of time, dogs have always been credited with extraordinary powers. The psychic sensitivity or sixth sense allows the dog to pick up and discern paranormal information that is floating around. Due to the ability of picking up and discerning negative and positive information, a dog has the amazing feat of predicting ominous events, detecting cancer, seizures and heart attack. The same psychic ability is at work when a dog sensed that someone is on his/her final hours.

How do dogs sense death?

The supposed psychic ability of a dog has always been a topic of debate between skeptics and believers. Dogs are intelligent animals but not as intelligent as humans thus it is not possible for these animals to predict the time of death when even doctors cannot give a definitive time. Extensive researches on this subject have concluded that the dog’s innate psychic abilities are classified into three categories – telepathy, sense of direction and premonition. Premonition explains the dog’s ability to foretell events that are about to happen. Premonition gives the dog the ability to sense death. The ability to sense death may be attributed to other factors. A dog’s superior senses must not be discounted. Dogs can hear, smell and see things that we humans cannot hear, smell and see. A dying person has no peculiar smell that would cue the dog. It is generally believed that the smell would come after death. However, it is possible that the dog’s sensitive nose would pick up the smell. The howling is the dog’s way of grieving and empathizing with humans. The same heightened senses would be at play when the dog discerns the chemical imbalance that occurs in a person that is about to die. Dogs are well attuned with the emotions of humans. Family members would be anxious and sad if a family member is sick. These emotions and behaviors will not be normal in the eyes of the dog. The dogs would sense the fear and because these animals have well honed self preservation instincts, they would manifest a peculiar behavior that is interpreted by humans as an omen of death.


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