Do animals know that they are going to grow old and die?

Jump to Last Post 1-10 of 10 discussions (19 posts)
  1. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 12 years ago


    1. Stacie L profile image87
      Stacie Lposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      no,they don't know that they age or not...they do know when the end is near..(call this personal experience)

      1. paradigmsearch profile image60
        paradigmsearchposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Agreed. And any entity that understands the concept of death would, by definition, have self-awareness. And if an entity is advanced enough to have self-awareness...

        1. Stacie L profile image87
          Stacie Lposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          has a conscious?  (I feel like i'm in school...)wink

          1. paradigmsearch profile image60
            paradigmsearchposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Me, too. And I will be for my entire life. smile

  2. recommend1 profile image59
    recommend1posted 12 years ago

    No they don't.  They do know they don't work so well, and they do choose to rest and sleep more - but knowing you are going to die requires the understanding that we are alive.  Dogs just are alive and do not have the higher conscious ability to understand life and death - this is why it is kinder to end a pets life when it becomes too old or ill to be happy, it does not know or care.

    I would prefer that end myself if I got too old and ill to be happy, but this is a conscious decision based on reasoning.

  3. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 12 years ago

    Animals absolutely understand the concept of death (see the prey run) (see momma bear protect her cubs).

    However, we now have 2 answers that agree that animals don't understand the concept of old age. Although I tend to agree, I'm not completely sure yet. smile

    1. recommend1 profile image59
      recommend1posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      paradigmsearch  -   Fear of being killed and fear of our kids (cubs) being killed is a totally natural response along with eating and copulating.  There is no understanding involved, it just is.  To look at it another way, you don't expect Momma bear to reason in the depths of boring sleep in winter that there is a handsome Papa bear sleeping in the cave just round the corner and wandering round there to give him the 'eye' - do you ?

      1. paradigmsearch profile image60
        paradigmsearchposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        In as much as that I've seen dogs dream, it could very possibly be so! lol smile

  4. waynet profile image68
    waynetposted 12 years ago

    Yes! My dog has said that when she dies, she wants The eye of the tiger playing at her funeral and a huge house party for everyone to share her canine life and celebrate it!

    1. paradigmsearch profile image60
      paradigmsearchposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Better have her put it in writing so that there's no confusion. Otherwise, there might be some problems when you try to carry out her wishes. I'm just saying...

      1. waynet profile image68
        waynetposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I've already written a will for her upon her own request...she said something along the lines of woof woof rrrr woof rrr woof which was quit similar to yes that will is written well thanks!!!

  5. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image80
    Wesman Todd Shawposted 12 years ago

    Yes, they most definitely do.  Out here in Rural Texas our chows (un cut, un chained, un fenced) always wander off to die.  You can see it in their eyes too.  They are like Spartan warriors.

    1. manlypoetryman profile image80
      manlypoetrymanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I'm hoping you meant lab "chow" mix had better not wonder off whenever his time comes...sad as that may be to think advance.

  6. Blabbergaster profile image63
    Blabbergasterposted 12 years ago

    I am not 100% sure however my 3 younger cats are the same age and appear to gang up on my oldest cat who is 45 in cat years! I believe there is an awareness of age but perhaps death remains a mystery unless the animal has stumbled across another dead animal or human?

  7. habee profile image93
    habeeposted 12 years ago

    I think Robert Burns had it right:

    "Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But Och! I backward cast my e'e,
    On prospects drear!
    An' forward, tho' I canna see,
    I guess an' fear!"

    In other words, animals don't look back with regret or worry about the future.

  8. manlypoetryman profile image80
    manlypoetrymanposted 12 years ago

    I agree with answers that an animal does not know when they get old or that they will die...but I would say that they have many instincts surrounding "death" and the domesticated ones have different reactions to it.

    There is a pic of one of the Seal Team 6 members dog walking up and laying next to the casket of his owner during the whole funeral ceremony. My foster pup was extremely worried for her brother foster pup when he got sick and was at deaths doorstep. When the "brother" foster pup died...she went up to him and took one sniff then went on her the backyard. Her personality swang 180 degrees opposite I really have no idea what processed in her brain....over this...other then it seemed to have made an impression on her from that her own little doggy world.

  9. profile image0
    ExoticHippieQueenposted 12 years ago

    I have had many dogs through my life, all beloved members of the family.  We never gave a dog away or sold one.  They all died or had to be put to sleep.  My older dog Daisy now seems to know that she is slowing down, can't walk as well, and is moving slower, etc.  Believe me, a dog knows when they are going to die, they know when they are sick.  They have been like my children and I have seen the concern and sadness in their faces as death approaches.  No one can ever tell me different.  Dogs are far more aware and perceptive then many people realize, especially those who lock their dogs up and pens and only let them out through their whole lives for hunting purposes.  Those owners have no idea of the love and intelligence that dogs possess.

  10. 2uesday profile image64
    2uesdayposted 12 years ago

    Elephants must know when they are dying because they go to a special place to die. If this is not a true fact about elephants - then the TV programmes I watched as a child told lies.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)