small jack Russel

Should I put my dog down?

This is a question put to Veterinary and Canine professionals daily.

You are the only one that can make that decision.

It’s the decision no loving dog owner ever wants to make, but unfortunately, we have to think if our dogs are suffering with their health and there is no sign of get this getting better you may find the kindest option is to put your dog to sleep.

It’s one of the hardest choices you will ever have to make; on the one hand you want to spend as long as possible with your best friend but, on the other hand, you want to make the right decision for them based on their quality of life.

I am writing this with experience as you would always like to think you would have a bit of time to think things through, but for me with one of my dogs I had just a couple of hours.

Waking up one day and going about my normal routine with the dogs I did not know that just a few hours later I would be agonising and fighting my own emotions on having to make the decision to let Ziggy sleep. For 9yrs Ziggy was my constant companion, he was the dog that changed me and brought me balance. He had been out with me that morning and he was as bright as a button, that even though there was something seriously wrong.

The Vets found blood in his stomach and immediately operated and found he had tumour on his liver that had perforated, the toxins had spread, and news was not good. He was going to die, and I had to say goodbye to my best friend for the last time.

In my case I had just hours with Ziggy, but I knew I had to let him go although I wanted to just scoop him up and take him home with me. Most of you will have more time I would hope, and I always recommend you talk to family and friends and consult your vet as part of the process.

The reason I this is that you can sometime be side blinded by the emotional attachment. Your Vet and your family however will be able to tell if your dog is acting out of character or seems to be struggling.

If you are lucky enough to have a good Veterinary, then always consult them as they will have a good insight into how your dog’s health or illness will affect their quality of life. They will consider your dog’s mobility, appetite, breathing, comfort, toileting habits, mental capacity, happiness and response to treatment.

At the end of the day, the decision to put your dog to rest will be yours, remembering that sometimes the kindest and most responsible decision is to let them go especially if they are struggling.

But one thing for sure it is hard to make that decision to make for the whole family, especially if you have children. My advice is to sit down as a family and discuss the decision together, be honest about your reasons and what it will mean for everyone, including your beloved pet. Be prepared as it will be one of the most upsetting conversation you will probably have, and there will be tears.But please try to focus on it being about what’s best and right thing for your dog.

Time does not heal; you will never get over loosing your dog.

Every day you will remember them, and you should never want to forget them, it does however get easier.