Would You Put Your Old Dog To Sleep?

Our dog is about 16 yo, has arthritis cataracts, loss of hearing, and other problems associated with old age. It is not easy to see her coping with her deteriorating health and many people have said its time to put her to sleep. Somehow we just cannot do that cos she is such a caring dog.
Would you put her to sleep to save her sufferings?

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32 Responses to Would You Put Your Old Dog To Sleep?

  • chirpy says:

    Hi Sal,
    That is a really hard question. I sympathise. I had to have my cat put to sleep a few years ago and I still think about him a lot.
    The fact that you are considering this step shows that you are intending to do the right thing.
    You could always get a professional’s opinion on your dog’s condition.
    Sometimes when we own and love an animal we can be blinded to their true condition. For instance my neighbours had a cat that was suffering from severe arthritis. They didn’t bother to take it to the vet to get medication for it. With time, the cat deteriorated. The owners did have it put to sleep eventually but the cat had to get really bad first. It seemed like the cat’s sorry condition was blatantly obvious to everyone except the owners themselves.
    Other than that, look at the dog, does she enjoy her life? Just like people with illnesses and disabilities can still live a fulfilled life, I believe so can animals. You would have to be the judge of that.
    I think actually that the dog will “tell you” when it’s time for her to go.

  • Fonz says:

    do what’s best for the dog and you will know when without someone else’s advice.. It sure does hurt

  • LeAndra says:

    That is so sad. I’m really sorry about this 🙁 If it were my dog I think I would put her out of her missery. Poor thing. I’d cry so hard.

  • jess c says:

    Ok let me cry on your shoulder. I have had a Min Pin for 4 years. He is like one of my kids. My daughter even called him her brother. A week ago Sunday, he got bitten in the face by a Cotton Mouth snake,trying to protect me in our yard. He only weighed 9 lbs. We rushed him to the ER, they gave him shots. Over the next few days He just kept on getting worse. By Thursday we had to make the decision to put him to sleep. His kidneys and his liver shut down and his little mouth was starting to rot from the inside out from the venom. He had taken so much fluid from the bite swelling that after we put him to sleep we weighed him, he weighed 35 lbs. I got to hold him while they administered the sleepy medicine. I still cant rest and eat, But I know it was for the best. Our Vet recomended it. We buried him in the yard. So please try not the be selfish and let the oldtimer rest. If you can be there for your dog during the Euthanasia it will help. I was the last person he saw and heard. It is not easy. Good luck

  • Wonder says:

    If you have to ask, you’re not ready. It’s just that simple. The dog will tell you in no uncertain terms that she’s ready to go. If you have even the slightest question about, don’t do it. I’ve been there. The guilt nearly killed me.

  • kpaschke says:

    In my experiences with my two Cocker Spaniels, my vet told me that when they got to the point when they could no longer eat or hold their own waste, then it was time for them to go. Also, if they were a great amount of excruciating pain. Usually, if a dog dies a natural death it is very painful for them. I would just keep a close watch on her habits and you will know when she is telling you it’s time to go.
    Kim at: http://www.peaceful-organic-planet.com/n…

  • ĎŐβĨĔĞĂŃĞ ® says:

    I have done so a couple of times & it is a very hard decision to make.
    I just tell myself this is the last act of love & kindness I can give to my beloved pet. Of course I have to put their feelings before my own & stay by their side & hold them till the proceedure is complete.

  • Lizzy-ti says:

    I’d consult with your vet , there are medications to help all those conditions, but would it give her /him a longer life, that’s up to you and the vet.
    I’ve had to put old animals down because their qaulity of life hasn’t been good. It’s not easy and I cried buckets for days afterwards, but in the end it was an act of kindness to put them out their misery.

  • Decoy Duck says:

    I would only consider euthanizing if the dog were in pain and extreme discomfort. We all experience deteriorating health from the day we are born; it’s called aging. An aging dog does not mean it has no quality of life. Until that time (when there is no quality of life) I would take care of and cherish my dog.

  • Sparkle says:

    while yes it is a hard thing to do ….. but sometimes you just have to let Ppl and animals you love dearly go …. it easy to say but also hard to do …. like my cat she was suffering too coming do with many disability … and i couldn’t let her go but i had too ….. it was hard at first but i thought more about her news then my own …… what if i was in her in my cat place i would’ve want it the same way…. so what ever choice you make is up to you….let me say your dog is so strong to be fight for her life….that means to me she don’t want to let you go 2.

  • doxie says:

    If she is not suffering now no I wouldn’t due to poor health, eyesight,etc.. Arthritis the can give meds to help with the pain and stiffness. If she is coping I would let her live. If she is in pain and can’t cope then yes I would put her down. I would not worry what others are saying. No one knows the dog better then your family and you will know when the right time is. Good luck and hope all is well. So sorry, these are the toughes decisions to make about our companions.

  • BBliciou says:

    Unfortunately, this is something I have had to deal with many times…it’s never an easy decision, nor a pleasant one. But when it comes down to it…it is a case by case situation. If the dog is in actual pain and is not living life like it used to enjoy…then the answer would probably be to put her down. If it is more of a nuisance for you but she seems to be content and not in much pain…than the answer might have to come down to how much you are willing to put up with.
    Good luck…it’s such a hard decision 🙁

  • fuji says:

    as much as i would hate it, it would be in the best interest of my dog not to suffer through all that pain so i can see it alive everyday.
    be sure to take plenty of photos and memories before your decision though
    dont want to forget the pretty thing

  • carolyn h says:

    first off you can use adequan injections for pain for arthristis, if she still eats ok, and is still enjoying life (if her pain is being mangaged such as the adequan injections or use metacam) i say let her stay. If her pain is not being managed i say let her go…this is what happened with our lhasa a couple yrs a go, he was 16, confused, wandering in circles, slpet all the time, deaf, he was not enjoying quality of life. but he no longer played at all.my hubby was unable to let him go, finally he had a stroke and we had to take him and have him euthanized. So i would go with if your dog is being managed with pain med and still plays and eats and is having quality of life keep her alive but if not let her be in heaven. carolyn h

  • swan says:


  • blessed1 says:

    I know that is like putting one of your children to sleep. But if they get to the point to where you know they are suffering, it is best. My Mom jokes and says if she gets to the point where she poops herself she wants to be put down,lol. Hope that made you smile =)
    Sorry you are having to make this decision.

  • eldomby says:

    But it’s suffering a lot more with all those sickness

  • hidden_s says:

    Take your dog to the vet. Let the vet evaluate her. If she seems to be in pain then don’t let her suffer. If not, let her go on for a while longer. She will have ways of telling you that she is in pain or suffering.

  • galaxie0 says:

    As other people have said, if you are asking the question than maybe you should wait. Dogs will let you know when it’s time. Signs to watch out for are not eating, not drinking, and not playing. You said your dog still plays with the other dogs, therefore he still has a certain level of quality of life. A dog at death’s door won’t want to play – they will be too tired.
    There are meds & herbal remedies that can make your dog more comfortable and being blind & deaf isn’t a death sentence. Your best bet would be to talk to your veterinarian.
    When it’s time, you’ll know. Your dog will tell you.

  • If her quality of life has diminished and you are keeping her going for your OWN sake because you don’t want to part with her, it isn’t fair to her.
    She’s given 16 yrs of unconditional love, let her be at peace with her dignity.

  • Dani says:

    I’ve never had to choose to put a dog to sleep (our dog died naturally), but I have had to put other animals down and I can tell you it’s one of the toughest decisions to make. My sisters dog (who is about 17, and EVERYBODYS favorite) is starting to get really sick, and theyre thinking of putting him to sleep. Its a heart wrenching decision and i’m glad I’m not the one who has to make it, but I dont’ see anything wrong with putting an animal down if they’re in constant pain and suffering. I know it’s hard, and I feel bad for you that you have to make such an awful decision, but sometimes, it just needs to be done.

  • Brookie's mum says:

    If any of my dogs get to that point I will put them to sleep I am not going to keep them in pain just because of me! That would be selfish.
    But if the dog is not having pain & Still goes day by day without issues the I am not sure.

  • OU812 says:

    If the dog is suffering………….yes I would.
    I know it is not easy. I have done it in the past and will have to in the future. I have held and comforted them as they have past. But deep down no matter how hard it was for me I knew it was best for them.

  • Dreamer says:

    Dogs cannot tell us they are in pain. If a dog is limping excessively, he could be in excruciating pain, and you’d never know it.
    If a dog’s quality of life is gone, there is no reason to force that dog to keep living. A dog who cannot see/hear is confused and scared all the time. He has no idea what’s around him or where he is. He could fall down a flight of stairs or run into a wall. He could be stepped on or attacked by a passing animal because he cannot anticipate it. Life is a constant stressful, painful ordeal for him, and I do think that is wrong.
    If my dog were suffering that much, there would be no doubt in my mind. No animal should have to suffer because an owner is too selfish to let go.

  • luckythi says:

    If the dog was in a lot of pain and living was a struggle for it then yes, I would put her to sleep.
    Believe it or not, we had to put a parakeet to sleep. It got a tumor on its back and it’s health got so bad it couldn’t even stand on a perch. Sometimes it’s kinder to put an animal to sleep than to let it suffer just because you can’t let go of it.

  • Logo Design says:

    If the quality of life is not there, and the dog is not happy, then I would put her to sleep. Allowing her to suffer is not showing her love. Putting her out of her misery humanely is..

  • Coopy's Mom says:

    If the pain and suffering is ruining her quality of life, yes. If she isn’t enjoying her time on earth, it is crazy to keep her here. Or if you could aquire pills from the vet for pain and keep her comfy until she goes to Rainbow Bridge (aka puppy heaven), then that would be good too. It may be harder for all of your family to see her suffer opposed to a nice peaceful passing with your family around to say goodbye. The end of a dogs life can be sad and very scary too, if she starts to lose control of her body the effects can be so deppressing.

  • Anonymous says:

    We had to make that same decision 3 years ago. While it is not an easy one, it truly is the best. Our dog was like our child. We miss him everyday and often wonder could we have done it different. But, in the end, they was nothing else we could have done. We loved him dearly in life and death and we gave him a very nice farewell. That was our last gift to him, to truly put him out of his misery. Like I said, it was hard but we know it was the best thing for him. To keep him around for your benefit is a very selfish thing to do.

  • joanne b says:

    simply if it is best then yes

  • Tom H says:

    Ive put all of my dogs to sleep as soon as they cant make it outside to use the bathroom,
    Now I ask you this-your one hundred and twenty, and your suffering, would you want to suffer?

  • Aye. Right! says:

    Depends on the individual dog, and only YOU can make that call, not people on the internet!

  • Patricia Z says:

    Three days ago I put my older semi-in pain older dog to sleep. He was a rescue of six months and came tome very ill and emaciated. I spared him from a kill shelter but in the end had to put him to sleep. He had a great life for the past 1/2 year. He was suffering and in pain but loved me and had an appetite still. He nipped at my husband and son so they were afraid of him…as sweet natured as he could be, he could turn and do that. I got to a point I felt physically, financially drained to care for him as my back went out and my family didn’t like him and once he got away and almost got hit by car. I couldn’t have stood for him to end up that way and decided it was time to let him go to sleep peacefully, with me by his side and on his favorite blanket. Unfortunately, now I don’t think it really was 100 percent correct time to let him go and I miss him terribly and wracked with guilt and pain myself I don’t think I’ll ever overcome. I miss the floppy ears, how he loved me and sat his head on my lap….poor fella. Rest in peace, my love.

    Admin – Anything you do out of love is the right thing! Please stop feeling guilty.