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Decide When to Put Your Dog to Sleep - Putting a Dog Down

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Whitney has over 10 years of experience in dog training, rescuing, and healthcare.

Elderly Dogs

It is one of the hardest decisions that pet owners can make- when is the right time to put your dog (or other pet) to sleep. Because our dogs become part of the family, when they start to age and show signs of age, it can be very hard to decide when it is time to let them go.

If you have an elderly dog, you are probably taking all precautions already to caring for your older dog, but if you need a little help, you can check out Caring for an Elderly and Aging Dog for more tips for caring for an elderly dog.

It is a very hard decision to make, especially since out dogs become part of the family. We play with them, exercise them, train them, feed them, and in many cases sleep with them. Face it, we spend A LOT of time with our dogs, so when the time comes when you notice that you older dog just doesn’t have the same spunk as he used to, it may be time to start thinking about the one subject that no dog owner wants to touch until the last minute…


My grandparent's dog who was just recently put to sleep at 12 yrs old. He was having frequent seizures and lost control of his back hips.

My grandparent's dog who was just recently put to sleep at 12 yrs old. He was having frequent seizures and lost control of his back hips.

Thinking about putting your dog to sleep

If you think about your dog’s wants and wellbeing, ask yourself what does he want?

The answer is actually pretty simple. Your dog wants fun, love, attention, and good health… That means no pain or suffering… Which is pretty much what we want ourselves.

When your dog's quality of life suffers, then you should start thinking about what you're going to do.

There is no set time or limit or one-for-all decision that everyone can make as to when to put the dog to sleep. It is by individual situation and opinion as to when that time is. So, I cannot tell you that today is the day that you put your 13 year old dog to sleep just because he’s 13 because what if he still runs around and barks at strangers and begs to be pet and loved on? Now, that doesn’t sound like a dog that is ready to be put down.

But, we all know when it is time. It is just something that we do not want to have to face when it is that time.

How is it done?

Euthanasia is a very simple and pain free process. You can opt to have your dog put to sleep at the vet, or in many cases, the vet will be willing to come to your home to do it in your dog’s surroundings.

Most vet’s give the dog a shot of barbiturate, or another sedative, to relax the dog and put him unconscious, and then the vet or vet tech will give the dog another shot to actually put the dog to sleep and to stop his heart.

Not all dogs react the same. You will find that dogs with poor circulation may take a little long for the drugs to take into effect, and with some dogs, it may take a little longer for the muscle twitches to stop. In these cases, do not be alarmed or upset thinking that you have made the wrong choice. You dog is not fighting to stay alive, he is already fully unconscious.

Help Dealing with the Grief

Dealing with the grief of putting your dog to sleep

When dealing with the grief of losing a pet, there are many different means of coping. A few tips can include the following:

  • If you know that your older dog is going to need to be put to sleep in the near future, go ahead and get another puppy. This will help you with the emotional pain when your older dog is gone.
  • Go ahead and make plans, as to when you will put your dog to sleep (if you know that he is getting worse), where you will put your dog to sleep (the vet or at home), and what you will do with his body (leave at the vet, bury, cremation, etc). This will help with the coping process, having everything pre-planned
  • Have someone go with you when you take the dog to the vet, or have someone with you when the vet comes to your home, so that you have someone that you can be with during and after the process.
  • And, when the vet or vet tech is preparing your dog, just be with him. Hold him, stroke him, talk to him. This will help you and it will calm him.

If you want more tips, you can check out this hub about Dealing With The Loss of A Pet

Putting Your Dog Down

Many people want to let God take over and decide when is the right time to let the dog pass on, but if you think about it, we have already pretended to be God by preventing all sorts of “natural” diseases and illnesses with regular shots, pills, and other medications. So is it fair to let out beloved pets live in possible pain and agony while we wait for God to take over?

I am not saying that everyone should go out and put their dog to sleep at the first sign of old age, but I believe that there is a point in every dog’s life that if he is suffering, it’s time to let him go.

You don’t want to keep the dog alive and in pain for your own benefit and selfishness. You want to think of what lifestyle your dog is currently having. If he is not happy, sick, and suffering, I’m sorry to be blunt, but it’s time…

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If it helps, consider at-home euthanasia.


greg on October 26, 2019:

thank you for the help, I had to put my dog down this morning and reading this helped. I was talking to her and held her head while she died. It sucked but at least she could look at her friend and felt comfort when she died.

Kay on February 19, 2018:

I’m sorry Pierre. By now, you have probably lost your friend. It is so difficult and I hope you have found some peace. Tonight I am laying on the floor next to my German Shorthair, that is almost 14. In the morning, we will be taking her in to be euthanized. She has been slowly declining with today being a tremendously large decline and a completely new, and unsolvable, issue arising. The vet gave us tranquilizers, in case, and she has needed them. Yesterday I would have thought she had another few months of good quality...I can only hope that she knows how much I have loved and appreciated her.

Pierre on November 27, 2017:

I can’t sleep. My pug is over 14 and has been showing signs of dementia for a while. Staring at walls, separation anxiety when I am home.... he has had at least one aneurism and most probably a haert attack. Tried anti-depressants and canine xanax to stop him from pacing at night. Unfortunately it had the reverse effect and and became even more agitated. We live between Europe and NYC and I had come to the conclusion to put him to sleep before Christmas when I am heading back to Europe. He has been travling with me since I adopted him at age three. Since a few days he is his normal self, just with stiffer limbs. I know he can’t take another trip to Europe moving every other week but how can I possibly put him down when he now is wagging his tail when I come home and again takes me to the pet store to get a treat? Much can happen in four weeks butbI somehow just wish he was sick again which of course gives me the worst feelings of guilt. He is everything to me and so am I to him. There is no way I can leave him with someone else. I lost my father this year after a long battle and I cannot let my dog go through the same. My vet said I also have to think what is best for me yet I feel like I am planning to send him off to the butcher ‘cause he will be in my way. I do have to remember though that he is not really well after all. He is old. He has good days and bad days. I am trying to think of all tha fabulous time we have spent together and remember what his vet said “ that pug would have had so many stamps in his passport if he had one”. Yes. From a kitchen in the suburbs to a jet setter. Yet this is the toughest decision ever. He might have a few more months in him I think...... but he can’t travel no more since he gets confused. I am devastated. I have so much work to do but I am mostly staring into space.

Sarah on June 23, 2015:

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories, Im putting down my 6yr old black lab who has cancer, and reading all this helped :)

Rebecca on February 08, 2015:

Just beginning my journey of dealing with my grief of putting our beloved Golden, Sally to rest yesterday. She was 13 and had battled bladder cancer for the last year. Within the last week her quality of life decreased rapidly. She would rarely drink, began dripping blood enough so she had to wear diapers, slept most of day, no longer got up to greet guests, but the deciding factor came when I was having to give her 3 painkillers and she would still be groaning in pain. It tore me apart to be in the position to play "God" and I prayed God would take her peacefully one night.. But with every groan I knew I could not put her through another day. I was always told I would know through her eyes.. I am not sure I knew or possibly my selfishness of not wanting to let her go got in the way. She was so much part of our family and was loved by everyone who knew her. I called my boys in from college and with my husband, 3 children, and my sister we gave our final farewells. She went with her head resting on my leg on her favorite bed, with her favorite toy, and surrounded by all those who loved her. I never imagined how deep the pain would feel and that I could cry this much. We were so blessed with her presence, and she gave our family so much love. Rest in Peace Sally and I am sure you will find plenty of squirrels to chase when you get to the Rainbow Bridge.

Lutzie's mama on November 29, 2014:

My Maltese is almost 13 which is very old for a small dog. He recently came back from a boarding visit appearing unsteady and weak. The next day he wouldn't stand at all. But his appetite is good and he scoots himself to the pad to pee and then back to his pillow. His eyes still light up when he sees us and he tries to wag his tail. It breaks my heart to see it. His tongue hangs out of the side of his mouth because he apparently doesn't have any teeth left to hold it in. It's comical looking and doesn't seem to bother him. This morning he actually stood and wobbled outside and back in but that was the extent of his energy. I don't think he is in pain. There is no whining or crying. How can I know for sure? How long do we allow this to go on?

Herman on April 23, 2014:

Our Gordon Setter of 10 years is losing her battle with MAST cell tumors. she has had two surgeries including her tail being amputated. Her tumor came back in Februray of this year and we treated it with steroids and anit-histime hoping we could have the summer with her, but alas Thursday she sprained her front paw, and it has been downhill since, and I'm coming to the reality that her days are numbered. We will have one more weekend with her and take her to the vet to have her examined and have the vet say it's hopeless and have her pass on to the Rainbow Bridge. We love you Raven always and always you have been a great dog and one of the best souls I have ever meet in my life. If only people were that loyal.

Mike on April 15, 2014:

Sammy, our 9 year old Golden retriever was diagnosed with a Mast Cell tumor, grade 3, a very aggressive cancer, the tumor was on his scrotum, so we had the tumor removed, and was told they had gotten all of it, however, within weeks of the surgery, the cancer came back with a vengeance, creating nodules all over his body, a large mass has formed in his stomach area and he has started showing signs of being discomfortable… but not in pain….I'm confused, I'm not sure if I should put him down now, or wait… The vet told me there is no cure for the type of cancer he has….so I know he's not going to get any better…. I love him so much…. What a kick in the gut this has been…..I don't think he'll live past this weekend….

Coleen on November 01, 2013:

I just had to put my dog down this morning. Her name was Molly and she was a 13 year old Golden Retrieiver. She was the sweetest girl and followed me everywhere and slept with me every night. A few days ago she was fine and then got sick and did not eat or drink for a couple of days. We took her to the vet and they said she had cancer in the spleen and liver. I took her home and was deciding what to do. Then this morning she still did not drink or eat and could not even walk. Right then, I knew it was time. I cried like a baby and hugged and kissed her until my husband took her to the vet to see what the prognosis was. My husband called me and put the doctor on the phone to go over the ultrasound they did on her and she told me how bad it was. Then I had to make that final decision. It was the most hardest thing to go through. I have been crying all day and do not want to go home and see all of her toys and food bowl and tonight I will be sleeping alone without her. This is going to be a hard one to get over, but I do not regret putting her down because she was suffering. She will always be in my heart.

Steve on October 24, 2013:

After putting my Daisy down the other day, I made my mind no more dog. It hurts. I still cry now and then when I think of her. It's still hard for me to get to sleep at night. I don't want to go through that again.

Shadow :'( on August 16, 2013:

On Monday I was put in the position to make the hardest decision I hope to ever have to make. My sister moved out of her house and left their family pet Shadow behind. I went a picked her up and took her in. Shadow has been a part of their family for 13 years. I've had her for almost 2 years now and over the last few months her health has been deteriorating. She had huge tumors that were spreading along the bottom of her stomach and barely walked. Her breathing was really hard and labored. It was hard for her to get up and when she did, she would stand around for hours because it hurt to lay back down. I've given my sister and her family every opportunity to be a part of her last few days and let them know she was suffering and it was time but they needed to be the one to make that decision. They never did return my calls and Monday I made the decision it was time. I am feeling so guilty right now, the pain is unbearable for me. They are harrassing me and threatening. Did I make the right decision??????? The vet tech said she was ready, but was she really?

Nonni on August 13, 2013:

Sammy is our first family pet to have been part of our family for 12 years. He has been a loyal protector, at times barking until the stranger finally left the surroundings. He would act like he was going to tear someone apart. Of course, he never did!!!! He just wanted to protect and alert everyone that there was someone who wasn't part of the pack nearby. Our Sammy is a beautiful white lab who was adopted by my husband, two kids, and myself. He had Kennel Cough when we got him home in the next couple of days. I thought of returning him, but realized he would not be cared for in the way he needed. So we kept him, doctored him, trained him, played and walked him, feed and loved him! Through the years he always had a cough that remained but always was able to get it under control.....his lungs were his weak area you see. The past six weeks I've been home for summer vacation spending time nursing him in hopes he would breathe better, and cough less. With many visits to our vet and four different medications, its time......he is suffering!!!!! He looks me in the eyes telling me, Mom I can't catch by breathe just put your hand on me and I will feel better......that doesn't do it anymore I'm afraid. I can't do anything else to help him breathe easier. All I can do is continue to love and care for him which means put Sammy to sleep. He will always be remembered and in our hearts .......peace be with you boy, we all have loved you and thank you for protecting us, you've been so gentle with the babies, they and Grammy will miss you as well. We love you Sammy!!!

Lee Murray on July 16, 2013:

Sam our beloved bassette hounder is fourteen and sleeps a lot. Pees on he rug now. He still is our watch/clock. Still has an appetite. Loves roasted chicken and the bones. We've had him since was five and a half. Being retired we both have been with him dailey except for errands and appointments.

Those big brown eyes and Hush Puppy look says, "Everythings okay, isn't it Daddy?

Susan on June 06, 2013:

Our lab Larry is 15 and half years old......cannot get around walking much but goes in the yard twice a day to do his business.......makes sure he goes to bed in our room when I go to bed and eats like a pig.......Our terrier Gracie is 12 and a half years old and we had part of her jaw removed in February but the cancer is back and getting larger below her ear and she eats well and walks around well but sleeps so much that we know the time is coming as heart is aching and I cry as I right this........both!.......

Robby on May 05, 2013:

Yesterday my wife and I took our Golden Retiever Holly to be put to rest. She was 13 and could no longer walk. Holly was my baby girl, she brought us so much love. We took the last appointment they had. It was so hard watching the went so fast yesterday. I carried her onto the front lawn and many neighbors and children who knew her came to say goodbye to her. It was so hard to pull the car up and finally pick her up and put her in, I forced myself not to cry as I wanted to stay strong for my wife. The drive to the vet was long and I was still fighting back the tears. When I finally got to the vet and went to take her out of the car, I lost it. I just couldn't do it. The staff at the vet office was very compasionate and helped get her in. It went quick and she was gone, we stayed in the room with her for about a half hour and cried. I know it will get eaier in the months to come, but I can't quit looking at the last picture I took of hr while she was laying on the grass.

lauretta on May 03, 2013:

My golden retriever Bailey is scheduled to be put to sleep tomorrow afternoon. She is 16, almost blind, quite deaf, has severe arthritis, and advanced kidney disease. Her breath is very labored. She sleeps 20 hours a day now but seems responsive and even happy during the time she is awake. I don't want to wait until the bitter end when she can't eat or walk, or she slips into a coma or starves to death from the kidney disease. She is a cherished part of my family and she deserves a calm, peaceful passing. I have cried about this for a week since making the appointment, but have come to terms with it. It is my last duty for her.

Katie on May 01, 2013:

My dog Jack was 13 and had diabetes, having to have two insulin shots a day. It was always up and down, and his thirst seemed to never be queneched. I could no longer allow him to roam free in the house during the day when I was at work. He had to wear pampers during the day in my absence and would pee in them. At night he would keep me up trying to get into the bathroom to drink from the toilet because he had drank all his water. He had to go into the vet to be "regulated" on a egular basis. After my divorce and sale of myhouse, I decided that it was time to put him to sleep. He was still relatively peppy and lively. But it was time for him to go. I didn't want to wait until he was barely walking to put him to sellp. Hardest thing I ever did. I stayed with him until the end, took him home, dug his grave and buried him next to his brother Emmett. Wrorst day ever.

BRANDI LOVING BOSS on March 24, 2013:

I have an 8 year old rit nose pitbull that i am having put to sleep in the morning. It's a very painful decision for me and my family. He had gotten heartworms we doing everything to try to save her which costed us a lot of money. But i lovely Boss has gotten worse he has went blind in both eyes. He has lost a lot of weight and steady going in and out the hospital. We have had some good times with our "Boss" we will always love you and oneday we will seee u again no more suffering and pain.. WE LOVE YOU BOSS!! PITBULL SOMETIME HAVE A BAD REPTUTATION, BUT BOSS U HAVE PROVE THEM WRONG!! YOU WERE SO WARM LOVING AND CARING ALWAYS HAD UR TAIL WAGGING AND READY TO WALK AND PLAY!!!

Ariss828 on March 06, 2013:

In an hour I am bringing my 17 year old lab named Murphy to the vet to finally be at rest, I needed to hear these stories to make it not so hard, he has cancer. it will be hard not to hear his heavy breathing while we eat supper or having to pick up the trashbags that he always finds and rips open, but I know we have to let him be at peace. I love you Murph

Patrick on January 28, 2013:

I lost my Charlie two days ago. I rescued him with a rare condition called follicular dysplasia when he was 5 months old. He was a yellow lab that never grew hair. He was bald all of his life and fought infected hair follicles all his life. Charlie was a trooper. The best disposition, most loyal, and loving dog. My 2 year old son calls him "Chooch" and is saying "were's Chooch"? That hardest decision ever was putting him down. He had been through so much, but was still acting fine. His joints were in good condition. He did start having seizures about a year ago, but only had about 3. So I still don't know if I made the right decision. Our vet said she questioned his quality of life at 6 months old, knowing Charlie would have to endure years of medications etc., but he enjoyed his life. Loved to go on walks around the Bay, play with the kids, and just cuddle and snuggle. I'm so sad over this and miss him so much.

annmarie on January 27, 2013:

Our beloved 12 year old beagle, Sara, was diagnosed with lymphoma only 2 weeks ago. She was playing and eating well when all of a sudden she curled up in pain. Vet said she had a mass on her spleen that was bleeding into her stomach. So quick, we had to make a decision and still not sure if it was the right one. We are so broken hearted over this. She was so loved and cherished and such a good girl.

Doug Gallagher on November 30, 2012:

To everyone who has lost a pet...I know your pain..have faith...and you will see your pet or in some cases pets in the next just need to believe. Be sure to read "Rainbow Bridge".

Del on November 25, 2012:

I had to have my beautiful and faithful collie , put down 4 weeks ago He was 13 past, had arthritis so bad I would cary him up the steps so we could go for our two walks every day, then something happened, the vet said he had a stroke, his lower jaw quivered so bad he couldent hardly eat, we had a bond so close if I was in the bathroom to long he would push the door open to check on me, I am a man 79, and I still cry for my tanner dog,or his nick name puppy dog, I am crying as I write this I hurt so bad.

Harry on November 09, 2012:

I had to put my 15 year old Blue Heeler Freddy down yesterday. He had hip problems,and cancer tumors but he got worst the last few days. He stop eating for 4 days prior , then he started vomiting.

I got him at six weeks old,the dog I ever had. Putting him down was hard. But,I did not what him to suffer any longer.

jerry's mom on November 09, 2012:

my dog is four with cancer, one kidney left, no is hard to say good-bye

Tony on October 07, 2012:

Our dog Sierra a boxer will be 10 years old this december. But very soon we are probably going to have to put her to sleep. Its so hard to see her having seizures, losing her appetite, and pacing around the house. I love her so much and reading these stories made me tear up but helped at the same time. Thank you all for sharing your experience with your dogs. They are so loyal you just want to do the right thing when/if the time comes.

Alaina on August 25, 2012:

I had my boy, Roger put to sleep 11 months ago, and spent days on this site agonising over the decision. I battled with it for days before, and days after. He had liver failure and the vet told me that he would fit himself to death at any time. Nearly a year on and I can understand what people are going through. It does get easier. Once he was gone I took time off work, talked to my friends and family and grieved without worrying about what people thought. I miss him every day but it does get easier, I can now look at photos without it hurting as much, although I do still cry when I miss him. I have a rescue dog, a decision I was very unsure of and am now glad I made as he doesn't replace Roger, he never will as they are so different. I just want people to know it does get easier and you will get through it. It's the hardest decision ever but someone said to me, I had been protecting him for years and it was the last kind thing I could do for him. That helped. Thinking of all who are going through this

merle on August 24, 2012:

Our wonderful little boy, Rudy, showed up over 14 years ago. He is mostly black lab. Someone had been cruel to him. We kept him and he is close to 16. He has plenty of tumors and cysts....cataracts....lyme.....and arthritis. He is falling up and down the 3 steps outside. Sleeps most of the time. Still wags his tail and seems happy to see us.

CSUNikki on August 14, 2012:

I have a beautiful cream color with a black face male Akita that is 14 years old and his health has been in rapid decline for over a year now. The last three months have been bad and the last month the worst. I have been putting off the decision to put Kosan down for several months now, even though he has cataracts in both eyes, is hard of hearing and also has lost strength in his legs/hips. He leans on walls, sofa, coffee table because it hurts for him to lay down and get up. Thank goodness we have tile floors in the living room because of almost daily poo or pee accidents in the house, most of which he just lays there and will try eat it if you don't take watch. He doesn’t feel it coming out until it’s too late. Akita’s are such proud dogs and I know having accidents upsets him because you can see it in his expression. He also does the staring into space, occasional seizures, walking into corners and loses his balance if our 5 yr old Shiba Inu runs past him too quickly. Kosan doesn't even really want to play with Kiko (Shiba Inu) anymore, can't go for walks but I love it when I get home everyday from work and he is always waiting for me at the door and ‘talks’ to me. He doesn’t do that for my husband and I will miss that closeness the most. I know what I should do and made the appointment this Friday morning, but the guilt is tearing me up and I cry as I write this. He's been the BEST companion and I will love him forever. Thanks for letting me talk.

j-nette on August 02, 2012:

my border collie mix has been with us since 1998 rescue from the shelter they thought he was a year old then. Well I read and cried through all the others stories, because he has fallen on stairs, has been pooping in the house cause he can't get up in time to get himself outside. I have had to lift up his back end if he lays too long. He can not get into my car to go for his beloved rides. When I do take him I have to lift him into the car (80lb) Then he shakes and pants all the time, which is not like him. Vet said he has a strong heart and hip/joint issues. So I have high price dog food for him. But I do not see any change in his joints. He has fatty tumors every where and he moans when he lays down. As his care take and to be responsible for his dignity and well being I need to make the "decision" Vet also said he has the start of cateracts, and he doesn't hear well, and his walks are much shorter these days. As I cry while writing this ... I know I have to do what is best for him. I love him and he has been a companion to me that it is hard for others to understand if they don't bond with the pet.

Vickie on July 30, 2012:

I have double the decision. 2 dogs different breeds both coming to the end. My little dog is 14 deaf in one ear limited hearing in the other, cataracts in both eyes, arthritic, disc problems minor but there, now a swollen lymph node under his arm. and is starting to have accidents all over the house. Eats great, plays, when he's not sleeping. Happy all the time as far as I can tell. But aging rapidly and I think why do I have to wait until he so sick before I feel not guilty. Than I have a Lab 10 years old, was hit by a car at 8mos. of age. It broke his hip and a leg. Needless to say arthritis is a big part of his life. He also now has Renal failure and is losing weight, down to 80 lbs from 92 at his prime. Looks anorexic. Which is part of the renal failure. Self mutilates due to boredom but I have to work, and they are in the house all day while I am at work. They only get the yard now because walking two of them is an injury for me almost every time. (53 myself) When there was a family it was great not a problem but kids grow and partners die now that I am alone it's hard. I'm sure I could spend plenty and the little one might live another 2 years The Lab I'm not so sure. But I just don't know if I can do it for another 2 months. Vacations, weekend get aways, day trips all are tough cause they have to go out and kennels are hundreds of dollars a week and they come back so stressed out and sick it's too much for them at this age. But they wag their tails all the time and give love constantly. Sometimes to the annoying point. I feel like I can't turn around without stepping on one of them always right under foot. Well thanks for reading my babble. I will eventually make my decision.

Gary on July 29, 2012:

I had to put my buddy to sleep last night, He was playing all day and around 1pm he just went down, He was vomiting and very weak, I took him to the vet and they said he had Liver cancer. It's unbelivable how fast it hit, I didn't even have time to take him fishing just 1 more time. He was my best friend I had him for 12 years and this was the hardest decision ever :( But I could see it in his eyes he was very tired and at peace i am still suffering today with the decesion but deep down in my heart I know it was the right one. I am just so hurt knowing that all the things I wish I could of done for the last time were not up to me but God. All I pray for now is he is having unlimited fishing trips and chasing all all the ducks he could ever wish for. Untill I see you again I will always love you Snoopy.

Dean on July 07, 2012:

I'm really struggling at the moment with the decision of having my dear friend George (Lhasa apso) put to sleep he's 16 now he's blind & has been since we rescued him 6 hrs ago but he is now getting lost in the house won't go for walks wonders round looks completely confused and is having accidents in the house every day I just think he would be defestated if he knew what he was doing he has always been such a proud old gentleman I know deep down what I should do but my vet says he has a good strong heart we have tried all the medication on the market & nothing has worked it is just so difficult to make the decision & tell my vet what I feel is right for my friend

charicon on June 11, 2012:


I too have been putting off the decision to put my 14 year old dalmatian down for several months now. Dusk also has cataracts in both eyes and he has numerous tumors on his body as he has for several years. He also has lost strength in his legs/hips. Thank goodness we don't have a set of stairs. He has a problem with the 2 we have. He used to run many miles with me. In addition, almost daily poo or pee accidents in the house, most of which he just lays there and will eat it if you don't take watch (the senility) He also does the staring into space and walking into corners. Dusk doesn't even really want to play with our JR anymore who is now 1.3 years old. Reading your post is helping me with what I should do. thanks...

MAZ on June 07, 2012:

micky , I know what your feeling And yes i know its hard your dog is suffering and he can't tell you that is the problem if only the could talk. But if you look and see how they eating....are they eating normal . sleep .... are they sleeping are they sleeping are they hiding there face.. are they sleeping in the most uncomfatable.... Believe me you will know all the sighs i did. The kindest thing to do is to put the dog to rest..... Its only you with the answers.... Hardest thing is you got to do it. I have done it ... gutted at the time but i knew he had to be put to rest. Hope this helps as it helped me...... Maz

sassy on June 04, 2012:

Today, I put my dog to sleep. She was 16 years old and had breast cancer.

Kevin on June 02, 2012:

today we put our 5yo dobie to sleep. she had lymphoma. the vet gave her 1-3 mos after her diagnosis. she went 2 mos before she started getting really bad. it was time to end her suffering. one of the hardest things you have to do is let go of a loved animal. they are one of the family.

brandi, rest in peace and be with God. Goodbye, love you.

Miguel In Boston on May 29, 2012:

I too had to make the tough decision of putting my boxer/bulldog mix down sunday night on his 11th birthday. He was truly my best friend and confidant that just strayed into my life 11 yrs ago. Wes was a stray that I rescued while living in Miami. But Wes was getting old and was diagnosed 2 yrs ago with seizures. Sunday night he was struck with a seizure that he could not overcome. I calmed him enough to get him to the vet where they gave me the bad news that Wes would not be coming home. My fiance and I are getting married on Saturday and this truly has devastated our family, we knew he was getting old but didn't think it would take a turn for the worst so quickly. We miss him so much, we come into the house expecting for him to greet us at the top of the stairs. I still haven't been able to muster enough strength and out his stuff away.

Terry on May 17, 2012:

I have been putting off the decision to put my 16 year old dalmatian down for several months now. His brothers and sister died at 12 years old - each one was so difficult for me to do. I miss each one very much - They were and still are my family. Benjamin, born deaf, now has cataracts in both eyes, his body is filled with tumors (benign, he has tumors in his ears that leak constantly which makes keeping them clean difficult, he no longer wants to hop into bed or go for car rides because he is having difficulty in his joints, he is losing control and has accidents often in the house, he stares into space (senility, I think, falls down the stairs at least once a week BUT, he smiles at me when I come home, still follows me everywhere, he eats and drinks well and even tried to play the other day. He is skin and bones even though he gets plenty of food and treats - I know the tumors are taking all the nutrients. I know the right thing to do is to put him down but I am having such a hard time - Telling myself he is only old. I pray to God every night for a peaceful end but I know that I will have to make this decision. I plan on taking him tomorrow. IT JUST IS SO HARD - I have been crying for weeks now.

Mr bean on May 14, 2012:

I adopted my mixed begal 8 yrs. Ago. He was extremely friendly w people esp. Kids. Loved to play w/ other dogs. In feb. 2012 I noticed he had lumps on his neck and legs. The vet. Said they were cancerous tumors. He continued to play, eat until 2 days ago. He got sick fast. The tumors spread to his lungs. My vet and the assist. were very compassionate. we put him to sleep. I have been very sad and crying on and off. But after reading some of these testimonies... I'm starting to heal.

Brian on May 12, 2012:

My wife and I had to put our dog to sleep. When the Vet was about to inject her he asked us not to look in her eyes. I never asked him why and it is bothering me why he said this?

kazzajim on May 07, 2012:

My dog Sam is 15 this year and has lost all his energy sleeps for about 22 hours a day, hardly eats and is losing weight.

He has cataracts and is partially deaf.He looks so sad all the time and has diarrhoea most days. But I can't contemplate life without him but feel he has had enough and not sure if sumptoms are serious enough to let him go, please give your help

Karen on May 03, 2012:

We have an appt. to put our beloved Pepper down tomorrow, but we are struggling with the decision. She is 15y.o., deaf, blind, basically just sleeps, doesn't eat much if nothing unless we put alittle peanut butter in the bowl and isn't interested in her "treats". She does drink, doesn't bark, had problems getting up and walking, I can see she does NOT enjoy going for walks and the biggest problem is we live on the 2nd floor and her bowel seems to be "lazy" that she can't hold it and it becomes "explosive" and smelly and messy to clean up in the condo hallways. But other times she looks for her ball went we come home when she realizes that we just got home which could be up to 10-15 minutes. Are we doing the right thing?

Kelly on May 02, 2012:

I have just put my 17 year old dachshund down tonight. It was the most awful experience for me as she fought it, and actually started crying tears from her eyes, there was mucous dripping from her nose and she was dripping saliva from her mouth, and this was whilst she was on the vets table, before she received any injections. She wanted to bite me whilst being held. So you may ask me why did I put her down, well she was blind and deaf, she had lost control of her bladder, and struggled to walk. If there is another occasion that I have to do this, I would try and buy a sedative to give to my dog, as I would not be able to to see my other dachshund who is 16 years, go through a similar experience. It was if my 17 year old friend/child knew what I was doing, and I think this incident must have been one of the most traumatic experiences in her life.

Jared on April 26, 2012:

Dawn, I think if your dog is whining and looking at you, panting etc ... he's telling you something but you're not listening. It's time. Don't be cruel by putting your own feelings first.

Dawn on April 26, 2012:

We have a beloved Golden retriever who has been apart of our family for 15 years. He is the best dog anyone could ever ask for. He has lived a great life of playing ball, catching the frisbee and hanging with his sister, cousins and friends.

His has never been sick, except for the occasional stomach bug. Here over the past few years he has gotten much slower and about a year ago we took him to the vet because he was whinning, anxious, panting and pacing. At this visit we learned he a UTI and arthritis which was causing some nerve damage to his back legs. He was treated for the UTI and we were given some pain/antinflamtory meds which helped. A few days ago he could barely walk and couldn't hunch down to poop. I felt so sorry for him, I hated to see him this way. We were given additional pain meds which seem to be helping, he has been able to poop and isn't limping . He is still winning while he's laying down and panting pretty hard too. We arent sure what to do. He wags his tail when we're with him and he's still eating and drinking. He is so restless and we don't want him to suffer. He whines and gets up and just looks at us like he wants us to do something to help him. What do we do?

I thought for sure he would feel better if he could just poop but there must be something else going on for him to whine and pace like he is. Again what do we do?

Annonymous on April 25, 2012:

We had our dog for 17 years. He was a Border Collie mix. He was a very good dog and never bit anyone. We also had his sister but she passed away two years ago. We had to put him to sleep because he was in a lot of pain. He was having trouble with his hips, back legs, etc. and could not walk. If he went on his side he would cry in pain. We decided that it was time to keep him from suffering. He was a very good dog and we will miss him. We knew it was time when he started to have trouble walking, climbing stairs, moving. We will miss him. He was a companion and friend.

LORRAINE on April 17, 2012:

I'm not handling this very well. Every time i look at her i swear she knows where I'm taking her, i feel like I'm letting her down. No mater how many stories i read i feel like I'm giving up on her just because she old and needs lots of care.

LORRAINE on April 17, 2012:


Summ3r on April 14, 2012:

Danielle, it's up to Grandma, not you

lucky1888 on April 13, 2012:

We had our dog for 6 years and he was a stray when we got him. We always assumed he was old. Never took him to the vet as he was an outside dog for years... He is aging and we brought him inside for the last couple of years and his belly had gotten huge and he couldn't pee, he would just drip drip drip. He started throwing up water- we took him to the Vet thinking a UTI with some meds and ended up with horrible news. He had stones in his bladder and in his urethra and it was completely blocked. He needed immediate surgery! They couldn't even get a catheter in him. Poor guy. I wish I would have taken him in sooner, I had no idea he was in pain, since he never cries or whines! The surgery was going to be almost $2000 and even if I did it, they said the stones could come back and he had to be on Precription Diet dog food and filtered water the rest of his life. Then they found out he had a new onset case of heartworms. This was devastating to us. We ended up putting him down. I stayed in the room with him during the whole thing and he had no idea what was going on. I feel awful and have cried since yesterday. Having control over his life is maybe what is so hard, and I am filled with regret over not having him treated sooner and not having him on heartworm preventatives. As pet owners, we need to all assume responsibility for these little guys. I never had enough money to treat him or take him in, yet I have a large car payment and a nice home. I COULD HAVE FIGURED SOMETHING OUT. Now he is gone and I regret not being better to him, especially in his final days. Poor thing. My heart goes out to all of you that have lost your pet.

Danielle on April 12, 2012:

i had my 12 year old black lab put to sleep two days ago now and I am really struggling to comes to terms with it. I am wondering whether I made the right decision. He was pooing and weeing in the house, and he would stare into space. He was also starting to get nervous and start shaking for no reason. i know his back legs were going and he would slightly drag them, and he would lay down slowly, so i believe his back was going too. I ask myself should i have put up up with the mess in the house? Am I selfish to have him out to sleep. On his last day i came down to poo on his bed, he was also wetting his bed although only a small bit. i have another dog too and i think he knew something wasn't right. I just hoped that i made the right decision as ultimately he would have got worse and it was better to do it now than to see him really suffer. it is very heart breaking and i have lost a dear friend, he will forever be in my heart.

Marianne on April 11, 2012:

we have a 13 year old Sheppered/lab mix (DINGO) and 2 weeks ago she was dx with an enlarged heart and and enlarged liver. Not to mention she has really bad arthritis in her back and her hind legs. She has had a ruff start to her life as she came to us for a kill shelter and we took her in and gave her a great home to live in. She has watched my two girls come home from the hospital and be their best bud. It is really hard to make this decession as she is my baby. She is on a antiflamatory, and a blood pressure medication. The meds are helping a little with the arthrits but she still falls, and she pants like she was just out running due to the C.H.F. As far as walks she can only go a block then she can not breath so even that has been cut back. I know it is time it is just so hard.

Maz on April 08, 2012:

On the 14th march 2012 we had our Tommy jack russel terrier put to sleep it was the hardest thing ever. I miss and love him so much my heart just breaks for him every day since . But in my mind i know it was the right thing to do he had a tumor to the liver they found that out a year ago but he was just going down at first slowly but then fast. He would hide his face go under my kitchen units or hide his face in his bed blanket. He wouls sleep on his back all the time.... never done that before , he stopped sleeping in his normal place on my settee, we ended up buying him a new bed he took to it staright away with his blanket and quilt but for some reason we believe he was just uncomftable with his tumor he would sleep in the most silly places.... on top of my ironing basket, in my shoe cupboard on top of the shoes really crazy places. It was for comfort, he would beg for food even though he had food in his bowl 1 minute he wanted then he didnt want, his bones was pertruding from his spine and collor bone his tail hair was shredding. Yes we think this was his time to go he was 13 but91 in dog years. we found great comfort in that poem on site and printed it out to read every day ... here it goes,


Keep reading this and it will help you like it has helped me. when ever i'm down i read this. R.I.P TOMMY CONNIFF..1999 to 2012 love you so much xxxxxxxxx

Micky on April 06, 2012:

HI we have a 13year old lab and he is livley eats sleeps jumps but his legs are starrting to go the back ones he is on tramodol for pain twice a day and he gets loxicom as well he got antiflantry injection last week he gets other one tonight think hes getting worse .He jumps to go his wee walk to do his bussnes but knakerd when comes back .Dont no what to do its hard

Samantha on April 06, 2012:

In my case, I am somewhat eager to have my elderly dog put down.He was adopted 5 years ago and is now 11. We wanted a friend for our other dog we raised as a pup, and we wanted to help out people who were moving to a place where they could no longer keep him. This dog came to us set in his ways and we have been cleaning up his accidents regularly, since he came to us and increasingly as he ages. He would rather pee on a nice floor than outside and he would rather poo on our paved driveway and deck than on ... God forbid...ground. We are more than ready to let him go. I know if I call a vet they will find every expensive medicine available for me to try to fix him first. What should I do?

Carl in DC on April 04, 2012:

We're dealing with the passing of our beloved Cody...a fun loving, well mannered, lovable Boxer. He's at Stage 5 Lymphoma. He's been at that stage since his prognosis in early January. We were faced with the decision of Chemo (months up to a year) or Steroids (weeks/months). But given the options we opted to go the steroid route. That added what's now a little under 2.5 months with him. He's been generally the same Cody we've always known him to be...but the lymph nodes swelled back up to giant size in the past couple of days and his bowels aren't the same...appears he's not fully digesting his food and losing control of his bowels and bladder. We have an appointment with the Vet in 3 hours and I don't know for sure if this is a visit or a good-bye. I'm torn. I've never loved a dog as much as I have Cody. He's my child. My friend. He's had a great life and my life is so much richer having him in my life for the past 6 years. He's not appearing to be suffering but he's lost all of his energy in just a few days. We took him to a favorite park along the Potomac River with a full view of downtown DC. Flowers blooming. Cool breeze. Bright sunshine. It was a great day...a simple but absolutely wonderful day. I'm coming to terms with what I need to do and the decision I need to get my other half to support. I've got to turn it over to God and not try and control the situation. My thoughts and prayers to all of you.

Nichole on April 03, 2012:

We made our appointment today to have our Vizsla put down and I am really struggling with it. He was diagnosed with kidney failure a month ago and within the past few days has stopped eating, he is so thin and his bone have begun to really protrude. The doctor said he will not recover from kidney failure. His problems are internal and although he spent all day yesterday just laying in one of two spots he doesn't seem to be suffering. We never had any problems with his health until a month ago and things just progressed so quickly. I keep reminding myself, would I really feel better if he was acting out in pain or appearing to suffer more, when you compare the two options I hope that putting him down before he reaches that point is the right answer.

Jess on April 03, 2012:

I am having such a hard time letting go. My dog is a 16 year old German Shepard mix. He has a hard time moving around, doesn't seem to hear or see that well anymore. He hardly eats. My family has been telling me its time to let him go. I know I must, but it was not until last night when I looked into his eyes and realized that it is time to let go. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes, but thinking about him suffering is much more painful.

My heart goes out to each of you that have lost a beloved family member.

andrea cowper on April 02, 2012:

on sunday 1st april i put my darling basset hound to sleep. he had problems with his back legs and had really struggled to walk for about six months. his name is snoopy and he was a very active happy dog. unfortunately because of this he couldnt go out for walks and a small part of the garden had to be particioned off so he did not do any more damage. on sunday i got up and he was laying in a pool of wee. he hardly moved all day and seemed in alot of pain. we showed him his lead but he just wouldnt move. we put him in the standing position but he just fell back down. he hadnt drunk all day which was unusual. we agreed to keep him would be selfish. it was traumatic and heartbreaking to have snoopy put to sleep. the vet came to the house. ever since i have tortured myself thinking that maybe he would have improved. the vet said he had a 20% chance of walking again. i keep thinking i shouldve done more. the whole situation is tearing me apart. we miss him so much. rip darling snoopy.

Danielle on April 02, 2012:

My grandma has a schnauzer named scrappy. Hi is blind and deaf and has been sick. Is it time?

teresa on April 01, 2012:

I made an appointment for three days from now for a vet to come to my house to put my Jack Russell to sleep. I can't stop crying, and I can't sleep. I'm so upset. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. He is 17 years old, and has been deaf and blind for a while. He also has dementia, and is confused and pees in the house. I've been spending a lot of money and time taking care of him. Lately his hind legs have gotten weaker, and he falls in his poo, or sits down and can't get up. He's on four medications. Then today, suddenly he seemed so much better! He walked around the park, sniffing, and he shared my ice cream cone with me. He's been my best friend for 17 years. I don't know what to do. Teresa.

Nora-mom of Gizmo on March 31, 2012:

I am so thankful to have found this site as it has been comforting to know there are so many of you that love your babies with so much compassion and only want to do the right thing for their best friend. My heart breaks for each of you. I think there is a special place in Heaven for the moms and dads who have given their best friend such a great and loving life.

It has been 9 days since I made the agonizing and heartbreaking decision to put my little Chihuahua to sleep. He almost died 2 1/2 years ago from his intestines leaking fluids into his tummy. His albumin blood level was 0.02. Normal is 2.5 to 3.5. He was very close to death as 0.00 is death. He was in ICU on fluids and plasma transfusions and when he came home had been on a low fat intestinal prescription diet as well as daily prednisone and blood tests every 60 days. He was in ICU twice in a week before he died and received fluids and 5 plasma transfusions. He went into ICU for the final time on his 9th birthday. I visited him that night and he was doing fantastic. I took him a chicken jerky for his birthday present and he devoured it happily. The vet said he could come home the next day at noon. At 10:20 the next morning she called and said could I come right now as he was in respiratory distress and she had put him in an oxygen chamber. When I got there they put me in a room and brought him in. The chamber was all glass but I couldn't open it up or he wouldn't be able to breathe. He was gasping for breaths and looked so tiny and frail. He was a tiny thing anyway at 3 lbs. 4 ounces. Somehow he mustered enough energy to stand up and wag his tail for me. Then he collapsed but got up the second time and wagged his tail. I think he thought I had come to take him home. The vet came in with the paperwork and the shot and explained gently what would happen. She placed him on my lap and I stroked his dying tiny body and told him what a good boy he was and how much I loved him. She was listening to his heart with her stethoscope and about 20 seconds later told me he was gone. He didn't struggle or move at all on my lap and he died quickly and very peacefully. She had tears in her eyes and hugged me. I am very thankful I didn't have to agonize over putting him to sleep. It was the last act of love and kindness I could do for him and I am at peace that he never again has to suffer. I know in my heart I will see him again on the other side one day soon. My husband and son are on the other side and I prayed to them to take good care of him and make him feel safe and loved. When I got out to my car and turned it on to go home without him a song came on the radio that has always reminded me of my husband. To me it was his way of telling me that Gizmo was safe and happy and not to worry about him.

Even though I knew it was the right thing to do I am filled with deep sadness and cry all the time from missing him. I received a sympathy card from the vet's office and everyone that knew him there told me how much they will miss him and that he was a favorite there, always wagging his tail for each of them no matter how sick he was. It was very comforting and I will cherish that card forever. I am very sorry for the agony each of you are going through or have gone through. Just know your best friend is depending on you to make the most difficult decision of your life. And although there will be many pain filled days and nights you will be at peace knowing you gave your baby one final gift of love. Blessings to all.

Thank you for loving me baby boy. You were the best of the best and you now live in my heart. I will never forget you or stop loving you.


Arley on March 28, 2012:

Jake is my 11 yr old german shepherd. He was diagnosed on March 14 (his birthday) with degenerative myelopathy. He is worsening every day as far as walking. He also pooped in the house without even knowing it as he is losing sensation in his back end. I am doing nothing but cry. I am actually sick. I dont no what to do. Wait til he cant get up any more or just let him go. He is fine in every other way. Please help me.

Jo on March 28, 2012:

I have this 12 year old lab who has diabetes and takes shots twices a day. He is blind. He pees and poops in house most of the time.He sleeps 3/4 of the day.Should we let him go? Help?

Steve on March 26, 2012:

i just put my best friend down two hours ago. I had the vet come to the house and held him. I feel bad but he was not able to walk. RIP Thunder.

Suzanna on March 25, 2012:

I am trying to make the decision regarding my Italian Greyhound Chase. He has been blind and mostly deaf for about a year and a half and sleeps all day. He has no teeth anymore and his back legs dont work very well. He gets lost and confused and has no quality of life but is not in pain. He cannot control his bladder most of the time. Although he wags his tail for food and gets up for a few minutes a day, that is about all he does anymore. So sad. I think it is time.

Connies mum on March 22, 2012:

I had my 13yr old staff put to rest today. I know her quality of life was nothing like it used to be & she had suffered years of ear problems & other stuff & it was keeping her up at night crying & she looked constantly depressed. Nothing like the dog she was. I know deep down it was the right thing but its so hard making that choice knowing she could still be here walking round breathing & alive but keeping her here till she suffered unbearably would of just been selfish. Going to have to deal with the grief but find peace in knowing she's at peace.

miriam on March 22, 2012:

I just wanted to say that my Ryker otherwise affectionately named the my Lion King, has passed away peacefully. Thank you for rescuing me, thank you for loving me and thank you especially for choosing me my sweet sweet prince. R.I.P. Love you

Cathy on March 22, 2012:

My beloved Jerry is nearly 12 years old and has very aggressive cancer in his front leg. He is still happy and will get up as soon as he sees me but I can't possibly bare to look at his growing tumor anymore. He doesn't show any signs of pain except the raising of his leg and he is so happy but I know he must be suffering. The hardest part is that I thought he'd let me know when it's time, I feel like I'm stuck in a nightmare. One one hand I want to make sure he doesn't suffer, on the other I don't want to end his life too early. I have had to do this twice before so I know what to expect, but this darling dog of mine was such a special dog. He was born to a wild pack of dogs and was rescued at three months. He's been living with me ever since and has been such a gentle boy. I truly do feel pretty crappy about having to make this choice for him, the vet is coming tomorrow to put him to sleep. This is the worst part about being a pet owner :(

Baley I love you on March 21, 2012:

My dog baley is sick. he is in kidney failure right now. he is 12 and has also been my little bud. I just made the call to the vet to let them know that I would probably be bringing him in in the morning. I have been watching him get worse by the day and it breaks my heart to even think that I have to do this. I feel like I am doing it, but I know its the diseases and really, just Gods plan to have him back now. It is the best I know, but it's hard to let him go. Tears are pouring down my face. Baley I will miss you sooooo much.

Steve on March 21, 2012:

My 12 year old dog Kati has diabetes. she's been on shots for more than 2 years. a wound she has now just won't heal. She has to live with the lampshade colar on when im gone and when i'm sleeping to prevent her from getting at the wound. it's the hardest decision but i should put her down. Damn I love that dog.

Bill on March 21, 2012:

My wife and I decided it was time to put our boxer(suzzie) down this morning. It was time. To anyone who has never done this before it is a very hard thing to do. They are part of the family as she was for 12 years with us. Try to think of the happy times that they have had with you and your family and now they are suffering no more.

Deb on March 20, 2012:

We have to put our sweet beagle to sleep very soon. He's 9 yrs old and has many problems. The vet calls him a complicated dog. :) I had to agree. This is possibly the hardest decision we have ever had to make. He still wags his tail when daddy comes home from work. But he has a hard time breathing and he's not eating much anymore..and has gained a lot of weight. He looks swollen. We think his kidneys are failing. He went blind overnight 2 yrs ago and now is also going deaf. His groomer comes to the house to clean him in her mobile unit. She will be here tomorrow morning to give him his last bath. I haven't stopped crying since last Saturday when the vet said "he's had enough". It's time. He's been with us for 6 yrs ..we adopted him from the shelter when he was 3yrs old..and someone had abused him. I can tell you he has been spoiled and loved more then any dog I have ever known. I just hope I can get through this process and be in the room with him when he goes. I'm just so sick over this, but I know it's the right thing for him. He belongs in heaven where my mother will continue to spoil him. My prayers go out to all of you who are dealing with this as I am. Your not alone.

Shirley on March 19, 2012:

We had to put Muffin down this morning, he was only two. I am heartbroken but he unfortunately he had behavioural problems and had attacked and bitten two innocent children passing our house. This is so hard and I feel so bad, I will love him always but couldnt risk him injuring a small child again. He was a beautiful white maltese Shitzu cross who somehow got a bad gene.

vlad on March 18, 2012:

ym dog has a liver failure i am crying as i am typing this she walks once and awhile go outside but not eating for four days and hardly drinking throwing up a lot i see tears in her eyes i will have to put her to sleep she is 14 i am not sure how i will go on without seeing her at the door happy it is killing me to put her to sleep and the same time she is suffering for me it is hardest decision of my life to put her down

sandy on March 18, 2012:

My lovely basset beagle cross was put to sleep yesterday, 17th March. An awful decision to make, he was ten years old, and had just been diagnosed with osteosarcoma following excision of a tumour round his thyroid gland. I am heartbroken, he was my best friend, and I hated having to do it. My heart goes out to all of us who have had to say goodbye to our much loved canine friends.

Jac on March 17, 2012:

Had to put down my 10 year old Great Dane today. She got excited and did a flying leap off my landing which broke her leg. Took her to the vet and after X-rays found out she had bone cancer. Prognosis was 4-6 months if the broken leg was fixed due to the cancer spreading. Kemo could prolong it up to 1.5 years, but be painful for her, and amputation was possible if she could support herself on 3 legs...which she could when standing up, but she couldnt get up from a sitting or laying position. We opted to put her down. She took her last breath at 3:52pm today...May she forever sleep well.


Tamee on March 17, 2012:

We put down our loveable Howie this morning. He's a 13 year old yorkiepoo. He went blind about a 1 1/2 years ago and I thinks he's beginning to be deaf as well. He was still eating, drinking and wagging his tail when he saw us BUT...he was sleeping almost 22 hours a day and bumping into everything all the time. His tail wagging kept me going and made me believe he's still hanging on BUT...he was just existing for me. He wasn't running in the yard, or playing w/his toys, or even chasing the squirrels. This is, by far, the hardest decision that I've ever had to make. I hope I did the right thing and I hope he knows how much I love him and miss him already. Rest in peace Howie.... 7/17/99-3/17/12. Love you tons!

Miriam on March 17, 2012:

My dog Ryker rescued Me when he was 9weeks old. He is now 17. He has lost most of his site and hearing and his back legs are failing him. He eats well and does his business well, so no problems there. However, he paces the floor and sometimes cries. He is sleeping a lot more as if he is worn out. It has been just him and me for such a long time And I find it difficult to make the dreaded decision of letting him go. Words cannot begin to explain our relationship, he has been my saviour. I am struggling!

chris on March 16, 2012:

I lost my GSD this afternoon, he's 11yrs 7 mths and was diagnoise lymphoma last month, his legs are failing him and he can only lie around for the whole day. We decided to put him to sleep this afternoon as he started to growl at me when I fed him. He also growled at me at the vet so I left him with the vet after saying goodbye. I seen him growled to anyone in his life but not one second to me before.

Debbie on March 13, 2012:

I have a 11yr old pug Toby, who has been my dearest best friend, and I am finding it extremely hard to make that awful decision to end his life. I truly know deep down it is the best thing for him. He has lost about 80% control of his feeling which has affected his walking ability, I know the vet and I have tried every possible medication to help him even to the point of purchasing a wheel chair for his to get around, however, now the issue is he is losing control of his bodily functions. From the waist up I only see the joyful pup and the wonderful times and believe I can make him better, but now I know I cant. I truly thought I could pamper him in his old age until his time is truly up, but, it is taking a toll on me and the family. I don't know when it will happen, but gee life sucks. Always remember Toby you will always be in my heart for ever and ever.

Chandler on March 13, 2012:

Thanks to all of you for the courage to tell your stories of your wonderful friends at this challenging time. I too, face the difficult task of letting my sixteen year old Lhasa Apso, Galaxy go soon. she has demintia , yesterday was be birthday. Some pet friends came over to share her day; she wasn't sure why, but I think she knew something was up! Later that evening she gave me the "gift" of wiggling her tail, something she has not down for the past month. She left as quick as she came. But she was there for a moment. It is hard, I am not there yet. Help.....I love her so. We lost her sister, Honey six weeks ago to heart failure.

Marilyn on March 12, 2012:

We found out our jack russell terrier has a liver tumor about a year ago he has gradualy got worse. he looks for food all the time i put it in his bowel and he don't eat it.Gave him roast chicken dinner on sunday he was begging for it but then didnt eat it.The noise he makes sounds like he is wimpering.I'm sure his teeth are bad cause his breath stinks he won't let me look.His belly looks bloated. we have tryed him on pain killers when he lets us give him but they are not helping.Vet rang today to find out he has been with the pain killers. A decision has now been made to put him out of any pain or discomfort he is having. Its booked in for wednesday 6pm i am so dreading it. I love my tommy.So not looking forward to wednesday but i know it is the right thing to do. I'm sure he is in pain but he won't tell me thats the problem. When i look at him his face has lost its sparkle he looks so sad and stressed. I thank you for all your storys on here it helps to know there are so many of you trying to make that decision. I will come back to this after we have had tommy put to sleep to remind me I'm not alone. we will be having tommy cremated at the cambridge pet crem we have a plot there with our other dog leo so we will scatter tommy with leo and tommy's friends too ben, charlie , and samson. bless you all and try and be as srong as you can. I am trying.......

barb on March 12, 2012:

We have a 16 year old lab and husky mix and he is blind, death, and lost all muscle tissue in his back legs. He sometimes pee's and poops in the house. He's just not him self. Should we let him go to heaven? Need help please.

jack on March 10, 2012:

we have to put down our GSD soon,and we are all heartbroken. But I know its time,and I can tell from my dogs eyes that shes telling me its time. We will grieve and be depressed,but then after time the pain will ease and we will remember all the great times we had,and laugh about her eating our sofa as a puppy. we will never forget her,and she will always be one of the best friends I ever had

Rob on March 08, 2012:

I put my best buddy down today. His legs were failing, his breathing became really heavy and he started to vomit all night the last few nights. I'm heartbroken and question my decision because I miss him. I have to remember that he needed help to get up even if he did want to play and sometimes couldn't get up to drink water from his bowl all day long when I was at work.

Amanda on March 07, 2012:

Today I had to make the decision to put my Caddy to sleep. She would have been nine at the end of the year. She had never been sick a day in her life until 2days ago. The vets discovered and inoperable tumor on her liver which was bleeding. As hard as it was to make the decision I just could bare the thought she would suffer. Been here before but it never gets easier.

Bruce on March 07, 2012:

We're putting our 13 year old Golden Retreiver down tomorrow. She can no longer walk and I suspect that she is in a great deal of pain. She won't show it because she is such a mild mannered pet. In 13 years, she has never growled at anyone in our family. And I have only seen her bark menancly once, at a neighbor's dog who was running wild. This decision is breaking my heart. We have known for a few years that this day was coming, but it still hurts so very much.

Brandi? I will love you forever!

Meghan on March 06, 2012:

Reading all of this and sitting my with 13 year old black lab has brought tears to me eyes. Lately my dog Caesar has just not been the carefree dog he has lived his life as. I'm now 16 and have had this dog since I was 3. I have grow up with him. When I needed someone I knew there was my baby I could always turn to. We recently went on vacation and when we returned caesar had lost a ridiculous amount of weight and constantly cried. He also needed to be picked up in order for him to get up and had to be carried up and down the stairs to use the bathroom. Now, he is on pain medications and although he can get up by himself the whining hasnt completely stopped and he just isn't my fun loving pup anymore and i can't decide if I'm wanting to keep medicating him for me or because I know it's truely not his time but I feel as if it's for me because I would never consider putting him down unless absolutely necessary. I'm torn and although my stepdad loves this dog I feel as if the decision is completely on me and I'm not sure how I want to solve our problems...

Charlotte on March 05, 2012:

My friend called me and said her dog was getting put down because he hade cancer so tomorrow I will help her threw it

jacqueline on March 05, 2012:

Put my black diamind to sleep today, after an amazing 15 years! I will always lo

ve you diamond.

Holly on March 05, 2012:

Thank you to everyone who posted. My dog Snickers is 14 years old and I think we may have to put him to sleep today. Over the past several months he has been losing his hearing and recently he has been losing control of his bowels on almost a daily basis. He also has trouble eating his food, which he usually loves. It is so difficult to know what to do because he still gets excited to see me when I come home to my parents' house from college and will still act like his old self sometimes. I don't want him to suffer but I don't want him to go too soon. I have been crying all day but reading all your stories has been comforting. Stay strong everyone.

shanda on March 05, 2012:

I am heartbroken I have an 17 year old dog he has been my friend forever grown up with my kids he is having trouble eating cause no teeth and can hardly get up and he cries thank you for this page it has made me feel better about sending him to gods care! Max will be dearly missed!

Louise on March 02, 2012:

I came on here as I really need some help. My 12 year old GSD is falling over on a daily basis and excessive panting. He does not seem a happy dog at all he is only happy when we come home from being out then he goes off and lies alone for the night, Its breaking my heart as we love him very very much. He does not cry in pain but his legs are falling from under him .

Liz on March 01, 2012:

I am having a very hard time to decide whether I should put my dog down who is 12 years old but he has a hard time walking he doesn't eat much anymore drinks very little he has bowel movements in the house which is unlike him and it is breaking my heart seeing him like this...please give me some advice on this..what should I do?

Scooters Family on February 29, 2012:

We have a papillon named Scooter, she's almost 16 years old and we've had her since she was 2 months old. We have be going back and forth about putting her down. She's deaf, pretty much blind, snaps at everything and evryone and urinates more inside than out. She has a good days when she seems like a pup and I think, she's not ready. Thank you for your site, it makes me feel like I am hurting her because I don't want to let go. Thanks again.

trisha on February 26, 2012:

Sandy thank you for posting this. we have a 9-10 year old boxer, Daisey who has been doing the same thing. I've been debating on if it was the "right" thing to do, to put her down or if I was just being selfish b/c I lost my job last month. She's been sick since November. She's been peeing all over the house (not like her) - she's eating ,but constantly thirsty. I know she's in pain. I see how she's moving. I love her so much I don't want to put her down. But I don't see any other choice. My baby girl. I'm going to miss her so much.

sandy on February 26, 2012:

thank you! to this website. my husband and i went through with it yesterday.I havent stopped crying i just keep picturing him happy looking at me like were going to do something fun right before the vet give him his shot. I miss him so much i cant stand it. but i got on this website and i seen other peoples pain as well as support. its nice to read comments of people who might of loved their baby as much as i did and truly understand what we are going through

Rob on February 24, 2012:


We have an appointment for our 12 year old boxer. I am heartbroken, but he is suffering from the same things as your boxer. He pees in the house constantly. He is in pain. We hate to do it, but tomorrow morning I am afraid it is something I have to do.

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