When do you know it is time to put down a dog?

He doesn't appear to be in pain (when resting), he still has a desire to eat (infact, still begs), he still wags his tail when he sees us, still gives kisses, and he has life and expression in his face - unfortunately, he is 125 lbs., his body is loaded with tumors (fatty?) and cannot walk on his own (dysplacia),.......with much assistance he is able to go outside and "do his duty". Are we being selfish keeping him alive?

Asked by Member 516803 on Oct 18th 2007 Tagged seniordog, expiration, decision in Answers
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One of my friends on the Shepherd board was in your situation with her dog, so she asked her vet how she would know when it is "time" to put her dog to sleep. Her vet told her, "When your dog no longer has three things in his life that he enjoys a lot, then it's time to let him go."

If your dog is still enjoying life even though he does not have mobility, then I would say it's not his time yet. There's much you can do to make him more comfortable so that he does not have pain and so that he can get around with your help.

Have you been to ? They have carts and slings that help support your dog so they can keep active even with dysplasia.

Abby answered on Oct 19th.

Other Answers


Jett  12/25/97-4/25/08

How old is he? Is weight loss possible? He sounds as if he's still enjoying his life, enjoying your company. This is a personal decision, but only from what you've stated, it sounds as if he might benefit from some good pain meds & weight loss. It's probably best to discuss all your options with your vet.

Jett 12/25/97-4/25/08 answered on 10/18/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


My brother has a bone tumor and our vet told mommie that it will be time when he no longer wants to eat or play...I think that's a good test...

Leon answered on 10/18/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Our lab had the exact same thing we couldn't put him down because he acted fine It was hard for him to go out side but we dealt with it soon after his walking got real bad he passed away but he was in his dads arms it was sad but dad was there I was at work and I wish I could of held him to First he had a seizure then a heart attack it went fast he didn't suffer long but he knew dad was there when he took his last breath. My prayers are with you

Member 250896 answered on 10/18/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I agree with Leon that when a dog doesn't want to play or eat, it is time.

If he has that "life and expression in his face" like you describe, he's still happy to be around and with you.

I also wonder if he could lose a little weight? The fatty tumors shouldn't be a big deal unless they are restricting his motion, like if they are growing too closely to a joint or an armpit, or something.

The most troubling thing is the hip problem. Is he on medication for that? If not, I'd definitely get him meds. He might be better and a little more capable of walking outside on his own.

If he's really in a great deal of pain all day long, whether he can walk or not, I'd consider putting him down.

I'd have a good heart to heart with the vet and explain your concerns. Sometimes, just talking it over with someone who knows your dog or understands his medical conditions very well can give you the answer you're looking for.

It is very hard to watch an old friend decline. I'm sorry.

Jack answered on 10/18/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer