Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

When is it appropriate to put your best friend "down"?

My dalmatian is 13 years old, she is wobbly, she falls down a lot, she can't really see or hear very well. Poop literally falls out of her, she can't control that anymore.
But she is still very happy and never acts like she is in pain. I think I have to do it but feel mean doing it also. She's my best buddy. I don't want her to suffer, but i've never done this before. Any advice?

Answer Question

Asked by JackieGirl007 at 4:06 AM on Nov. 4, 2009 in Pets

Level 35 (73,191 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • As long as she acts happy and doesn't seem to be hurting, there's no reason to put her down, really. Unless you just want to get rid of her. Which I wouldn't advise, karma can be a bitch

    Answer by Gremlyn at 5:59 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • I have put down a dog and a cat. The dog b/c she had a horrible skin cancer that the dr said he could operate, but it would likely come back and get more and more painful for her, and that he truly felt the best thing for her was to put her down. The cat b/c he was getting very mean and I was having my youngest child, no one I knew would take him, and when I took him to the shelter, they told me since he'd been by himself for 10 yrs, that just putting him in the shelter would give him a heart attack and kill him and they felt it was better to put him down - less painful and more humane.

    I think you have to look at the situation and decide what is really best for the dog and what would be the least painful for her. If she doesn't seem to be in pain, I wouldn't really rush it, unless the vet has told you they recommend it for some reason.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 6:54 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • its hard to say what an animal is feeling...some wag thier tails even when in thing you can do is take them to the vet and let the vet tell you what the best decision is...its a VERY hard choice, but thats what the vet is there for.

    Answer by blueeyedgrl2377 at 7:23 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • when they are in so much pain the aren't living a real life. Or when their prognosis is death. I had an 8 yo westie that I had to put down. He had developed allergies when we lived in Jeresy and was taking meds for 5 years. Well they stopped working and he had huge patches of missing hair, gray flakey skin that smelled very bad. His meds caused liver cancer and I was told If we were lucky he had a year left. But they could medicate him and he shouldn't be in pain. Well the boy was already taking 5 pills a day. And I said let's just go ahead now and put him down.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 7:54 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • take a pen and paper, and write down 5 things your dog loves to do. Such as, ride in the car, sit in the sun, chew a chewie..etc. Can she still do these things? If she can, and seems happy still, let her stay a bit longer. If she can' have your answer. It is so hard, I know. Maybe the vet has some meds to help your dog stay more comfortable in her old age. God bless

    Answer by purpleswiper at 8:10 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • I think the bottom line is just dont let her suffer. My beagle lived to be 19 and she ended up running away to die but my Dad and I were about to put her to sleep because she was in pain, she would wimper and yelp sometimes and it hurt my heart so bad...its a tough decision but I think its something you have to put your own feelings aside for and just do what is best for your best friend.

    Answer by HayleyGM at 8:18 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • i had to euthanize my first child (thats what she was to me) last jan when she had an abscessed tooth that was no properly cared for (she was staying with a friend while my divorce was under way), the infection went systemic, and by the time they told me... it was too late.
    my dd and i held her and told her good bye- it was the right thing to do, although it still hurts so much. she was almost 12. if i could have kept her with us, i would have... now she sits on my mantle and is always here.
    bottom line, if they can't live a fulfilled, happy, normal life... its time. even though it hurts you, its still time to let go.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 10:52 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • We had to do it to our cat. It was a very hard decision. He was 16. It got to the point where every time I came home I was afraid I was going to find him gone. Good luck with your choice.

    Answer by mompam at 11:07 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • I think she will go when it's her time. If she doesn't act like she is in pain then I wouldn't take her life away just yet. I mean, an old person in the nursing home for example, just because they are wearing a diaper doesn't mean they aren't happy. Happy enjoying the small things. i'm a dog lover though and thats just me. I simply couldnt do it unless there was no other way

    Answer by AshJoe05 at 1:03 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • I would base it on quality of life and suffering... you may need to ask your vet what level of pain/discomfort the dog is feeling, and you may need to think of what is a baseline for quality of life for your dog. At what point is there simply no quality anymore?

    I've had to put two pets to sleep over the years... one had cancer and would have died within the next few days anyhow. I just didn't want her to suffer for those additional few days. The second had a progressive neurological disorder and could no longer walk/stand at all. We treated it for awhile but we had exhausted treatment options and I felt I could not prolong the life of an animal who spent his life laying on his side pinwheeling his legs trying in vain to get on his feet. It just seemed like there was no quality there for him.

    HTH a bit.... ((HUGS)), it's so hard!

    Answer by Freela at 2:32 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.

Next question in Pets
How to help an old dog?