How do you know when it’s time to put your pet down? The answer is, “It depends.” It naturally varies from animal to animal. The key is to know when your pet is in pain and no relief is in sight. Then it may be time.
Talk to a Veterinarian
The first thing to do is talk to a veterinarian about the nature and severity of your pet’s pain. The vet may not be able to tell you whether it is time to put the animal down or not, but he or she can give you a review of your pet’s overall health.
If your pet has some kind of health condition, and there is no way to cure it, the most important thing to do is take whatever action you can to alleviate the dog’s pain.
Some vets recommend thinking about end-of-life issues before they become pressing. Take note of how your dog acts when he is still healthy. What are his favorite things to do – greeting you at the door, playing fetch, playing with toys, enjoying treats?
Then you need to establish some indicators that might tell you when it might be time to put the animal down. For example, it could be when he no longer is able to do three of his four favorite things, or when he cannot do any of them. There are no clear cut answers here. A lot of it just comes from knowing your pet and trusting your gut.
Also, the animal’s decline usually is not as well-defined as in the previous example. The decline is usually much more gradual, taking place little by little. The dog doesn’t lose his ability to walk or enjoy treats overnight. The loss of enjoyment is more gradual. So you may want to notice how often he enjoys eating his treats, and how much it has dropped off, and at what point in the drop off may be the time.
Put Yourself in Your Pet’s Place
A pet’s bodily systems are much like our own, so you can get an idea of how he feels when he has a certain condition. For example, kidney failure in a dog feels a lot like that in a human: the condition causes a feeling of insatiable thirst, thirst so great it induces constant nausea. That may be enough information to let you know whether it’s time or not. Check with a vet to find out what the animal is experiencing in terms of discomfort or pain.
No one wants to think of the day a decision needs to be made regarding your dog’s quality of life. That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on your dog’s health and have a strong relationship with his veterinarian so that the vet can help you decide your pet’s prognosis isn’t one that brings the animal joy.
Dogs love to play with other dogs, so when you need to head out of town and can’t take your pet with you, let him enjoy our 4,000-square-foot outdoor dog run to his heart’s content here at Barney’s Ranch. Board him during the day only or overnight. Contact us at (469) 273-1661 for more information.