How to know when to put dog to sleep?

My dog Pepper is a terrier mix, 16 years old. He is half the man he used to be; now weighs 12 pounds. He looks like a dinosaur--his bones are sticking out and you can see every vertebrae and pelvic bone. His legs are very weak, he is losing his hair, his tail is totally bald, and he can no longer get back in from going out the doggy door. He still usually goes outside, and he is eating, but mostly sleeping or following me around. We have had him since he was a little pound puppy. The vet gave him a series of anabolic steroid shots, and last week gave him a cortizone shot. They both helped a little. He also takes soloxine for thyroid. He doesn't cry but whimpers now and then, and squeaks when he needs help getting up or down our two steps into the den where the doggy door is. I think I am ready to let him go. Please advise. Thank you, Barbara

Asked by Member 774381 on Nov 29th 2008 Tagged whentoputdogtosleep in Health & Wellness
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Gray Dawn Treader

It's a personal choice really, but to give you an idea, I say generally when the dog's quality of life is less than half good and when you can't do anything to improve it.
Best wishes in this hard time.

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 11/29/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I would say to focus on how your dog feels. If hes in pain, then let him go. But if he is happy and making it by, let him live his days out by your side. Its a tough decision, but put yourself in your dogs paws and go from there. Good luck on your tough choice.

Milo answered on 11/29/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I bet this is a very tough time, and it's a hard decsion. It's your decsion, but if he's in bad pain, I would put him to sleep to be out of pain. I wish you and your family the best.

It's a hard time..

Jett answered on 11/29/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Only you can truly answer the question whether it is time to put him to sleep yet or not. However, since you are asking here, you're most likely ready to put him down and something is telling you that it's time. It sounds like you need to make the decision.

As a general rule of thumb, if your dog no longer has three things that truly make him happy, then it's time. It sounds like he's having a hard time. Look at him. Pet him. Talk to him. He will let you know if it's time.

Abby answered on 11/29/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


it is your personal choice. it seems like your dog is suffering. I would put pepper down even though I know it will be tough. It will put him out of all his pain and misery. I lost my first dog at 16 1/2 years old too. its very hard to do but its better for both of you.

Member 417505 answered on 11/30/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


It's never easy when you have a loved pet that old. You will know when its time for him to go. For me it was when I knew Rusty couldnt move anymore, and he wouldn't eat. I knew he was ready to go. Your dog sounds like he may be okay for a bit longer. Unless he is crying all the time, and not moving, and not eating, I think I would hold out on it, but it is your choice. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best.

Ace answered on 12/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Gosh this is tough.

YOUR HEART WILL KNOW, when you can feel it in your heart your will know. Don't try to fool yourself it will only make your friend suffer ok now I am not saying your friend is suffering right now.THIS you can only say YOU live with your friend and YOU are the only one that will know.

Good luck

Starbutt answered on 12/8/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I got a lab when I was in 5th grade. She lived until I was 24. She died at 14 years old. All her senses were extremly dulled and she was slow, losing hair, and slept alot. It was recommended that I put her down but as long as she loved me I couldnt. So she died in her sleep one day. Came up put her head in my lap, let me pet her for a few minutes then walked over layed down and went to sleep. Never woke up and I wouldnt have had it any other way. I'll admit she suffered some but thats life. I'm 27 and still here her bark sometimes.

Member 919323 answered on 11/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer