When is it time to let go?

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy

H, my angel- in heaven.

Barked: Sun Apr 7, '13 1:24pm PST 
I'm so lost. H had surgery to remove a mass from her head a couple months ago. Her chance of making it through was not good, but she did it and fully recovered. She felt great for a while.

Within just the past couple of days I've notice a big change. Her eyesight has been deteriorating as she aged, but she suddenly seems unable to see things right in front of her face. If not sleeping, she walks around in circles like she just does not know where to go, and bumps into things. She also is falling down a lot. Her back legs give out on her and she topples over.

It's breaking my heart. But how do I know when it is "time"? She doesn't have anything majorly wrong. She eats and drinks and goes to the bathroom outside. And she can still get around by herself, as wobbly as she is.


Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Mon Apr 8, '13 6:08am PST 
hug I'm so sorry you are going through this but in all honesty only you can make this decision. The only thing I can tell you is to honestly acess H's quality of life,can H.still do the things s/he used to? Does s/he still enjoy life? is s/he in pain of any kind? Pian does not have to be physical mental or emotional distress? Is it getting better or worse? Adjusting to new limitations? Are you able to make some accomodations to make things easier? Are there things you and your vet can do together to make things better/easier for H.? I have had to make the decision to let go myself and it is very,very difficult and heartbreaking.Plase know that you are not alone and feel free to p-mail me anytime if you would like to discuss or need some support.hug
Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
Barked: Tue Apr 9, '13 5:16pm PST 
I agree with Mika and Kai. When Jax's quality of life was bad, I made the decision to euthanize her, although she went before I could get her to the vet. It's never easy to make the decision and it's never easy to watch them deteriorate. hughughug


It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Tue Apr 9, '13 7:00pm PST 
I'm so sorry you have to go through this, but know we're all thinking of you during this difficult time. It comes down to the bad days outnumbering the good. It's hard to say goodbye to someone who means so much to us. But there is the quality of life...not the quantity. Only you can make the final decision, but go with your deepest feelings, you'll know when it's time...purrs and hugshug

Member Since
Barked: Tue Apr 9, '13 7:18pm PST 
It is unfortunate for both you and your pet. But yes, I'd have to agree with the quality of life thing mentioned earlier. If you think that it's just getting tougher and tougher for her everyday, maybe it is time. However, I'm not you. I guess you'll just know when the right time is to let go. hughughug
Rocky *CGC*- With the- angels.

Gone but never,- ever forgotten- xxx
Barked: Wed Apr 10, '13 8:53am PST 

That's the question all dog owners dread... I agree with Mika&Kai, you know your dog, deep down you'll know when it is time.

With Rocky, when the bad days outnumbered the good, I knew it was time.

Also, when it comes to maybe medicating H, think to yourself, "who is it for"?... Is it for H or for you?

I soon realised with Rocky that I was keeping him alive for my sake, because I couldn't bare to say goodbye and let him go.

It was the hardest decision I've ever made but after five months, I now know I did the right thing... For my boy.


Live every day to the fullest with H and enjoy the time you have left together... Hopefully, it's a long time hug

It's not easy- being the- Princess!
Barked: Mon May 20, '13 1:27am PST 
I understand what you are going through as I am asking myself the same question. A real scare a couple of weeks ago brought this very question up for me.

I hate the idea of not having her around but also can't stand the thought of her suffering. They can't talk to tell you exactly what's wrong or how they feel. It's up to us to "read" them and try to do our best for them. Right now she needs assistance most of the time to stand up if on a slick floor. Even when outside or on carpet she has to struggle to stand. I have to bring her her food and water. Yet once she is up and moving she is the same ole george, tail wagging, even wants to play. I know of some who have let their pet go when they couldn't move around like they use to. I'll continue, as long as she is able to be that happy dog once up, to do for her.

As others have said, I do think when the time comes we'll know.