What is your pet’s emotional state?
When it feels like your dog’s days might be over, it is essential to keep an eye on his emotional condition. Observe changes in behavior and note any reasons why they may have occurred.
Try to see if your pet still enjoys any activities or if your dog seems always to be scared or anxious most of the time. Your dog may also suffer from canine cognitive dysfunction or dementia, which can drastically change your dog’s personality and temperament.
Determine if dog dementia or cognitive decline affects your pooch’s quality of life and help determine whether it’s time to consider euthanasia.
Your dog’s emotional condition can indicate if something is wrong.
1. Your pet has lost all or most interest in interacting socially with people and animals he/she used to enjoy being with. McMillan says this tends to indicate that the condition has progressed to the point where it’s truly troubling or distressing to the animal.
7. Good vs. bad days. Tracking the days when your pet is feeling good as well as the days when he or she is not feeling well can be helpful. A check mark for good days and an X for bad days on your calendar can help you determine when a loved one is having more bad days than good.
4. Ongoing severe pain. If it can’t be managed with medication, or the amount of medicines needed is so great that your dog is too sedated to do any of the things he used to enjoy. Apart from the obvious yelping, grumpiness, restlessness or shallow fast breathing can all indicate that your dog is hurting.
3. Lack of mobility. While humans can have a life of a quality they value with little or no mobility, a dog lives more in its body than its brain. Many vets say that for animals, working limbs should be regarded as another vital organ and that without mobility a dog’s quality of life is simply not good enough.
5. Total incontinence. Inability to control their bowels or bladder will make your dog miserable. Incontinence that’s not related to an acute, treatable illness is generally a sign that systems are breaking down
Does the dog participate in family activities?
Does the pet enjoy playing with his toys or cuddling next to you? Or does it seem like your dog is merely existing without enjoying life?
The answers to these questions will help give you a clue about your next move.
How Do You Know When It’s Time to Say Goodbye to a Pet? | Vet Advice
Should you put your dog to sleep because of an illness or injury? Is it too soon, or is pain or old age making your dog’s life difficult? Here are a veterinarian’s signs and tips, to help you know if it’s time to say good-bye to your dog.
These guidelines are from Marie Haynes, a veterinarian who had to put her own dog to sleep. She shares her story, and offers information about pet euthanasia. In How to Deal With Guilty Feelings After Your Dog’s Death, she offers even more information about putting a dog to sleep.
“If you can save your dog or cat even one day of discomfort, you must,” says Dr Haynes. And that’s the number one sign it’s not too soon to put your dog to sleep: if suffering, pain, or a low quality of life is involved. Answering the question “what is a low quality of life for a dog?” is different for everyone…but the bottom line is that if your dog is suffering in any way, then it’s time to say goodbye.
“Someone said that every time you bring a puppy home, you know one day one you’re walking into a tragedy because dogs live such short lives,” says John Grogan, author of Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog (a wonderful book that went on to become a massive movie success in a film adaptation starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. They played a couple who adopted a dog called Marley).
As Grogan’s dog Marley shuffled into old age, he brought about some of the biggest emotional lessons for the family, especially with regard to loss and grief. Grogan and his family had to decide if it was too soon to put their dog to sleep, and it wasn’t easy. There were no clearcut signs for them…other than Marleys old age.
“Dogs start slowing down, it’s a great human lesson for children and young adults,” says Grogan. “I felt a grief that I had not experienced before, even though I had lost relatives. You see an encapsulation of a life span, and you see what’s coming for you as a human. It takes people about 70 years or so but it takes dogs about ten.”