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when is the right time to put your dog down?
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An_221080 posted:
I have a 15yr old American Eskimo. My family members are asking me when am I going to put him to sleep. He is incontinent and in a diaper, he can't get up and down the stairs anymore, he sleeps behind furniture (this is something new)he drinks water non stop, his appetite is up and down, most of the time he is not aware of when we come in and go out. I keep thinking that I will know the right time but I have to ask if I am waiting to long. I need some guidance on this. Any help would be appreciated.
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Ernie Ward, DVM responded:
Tough discussion and one that regularly pops up on WebMD Pets. You may want to search and see other opinions.

Whenever my clients struggle with this decision, I tell them they must try to separate their emotions from the facts. It really boils down to your pet's quality of life. Is it enjoying each day? Does it interact with you and your family as it once did? Is it eating and drinking normally? These are but a few of the questions you must objectively answer.

The next step is to ask your vet for their opinion. While its' not their decision, they can provide you with insight that may help you determine when the time is right.

Finally, while this is the hardest decision you'll have to make, you must make it with your pet's best interest in mind. To relieve suffering is our responsibility as pet owners. I don't know if your pet is suffering, but it sounds as though it's quality of life may be. Have a candid conversation with your vet and family members.

I wish you the best of luck as you make this challenging decision. We've all been there and know how hard it is.

Dr. Ernie