When to put your dog down checklist: 13 questions to ask yourself

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Woman cuddles with senior beagle. As your dog ages and becomes ill, it becomes important to evaluate your dog's quality of life using a know when to put your dog down checklist.

Evaluate your dog’s quality of life using a know when to put your dog down checklist.

It hurts to realize that your days with your best pal are almost over. You want to make the right decision for your dog, but knowing when to say good-bye can be difficult. That’s why it’s beneficial to use a “know when to put your dog down checklist.”

Losing a beloved dog is never easy. Sometimes you show your love by letting go. But holding on to your dog when he’s sick and in pain, can be less humane.

To help you know when it’s time to say good-bye, we have prepared a detailed when to put your dog down checklist to help anyone handle this painful situation.

How do know for sure? Use these 13 questions to help determine the quality of your dog’s life and determine whether it’s time for you to euthanize your dog.

1. Has your dog’s behavior changed recently?


Listen to your pet. If you learn to recognize behavior changes, you will know for sure when something is wrong. For example, if a recently active and friendly animal becomes aloof and sluggish, it is clear that there might be some issues.

Although changes in behavior do not imply a need to put your dog down, there are certain signs that should motivate you to talk to a specialist. First, consider if the dog is absolutely impervious to food, walks, and attention. Finally, note if your dog has become irrationally aggressive, sensitive or if your dog tends to vanish for long periods of time.

2. How often does your dog cry or whine?


Crying and whining are usually signs of pain or discomfort. Thus, it is important to track how often your dog shows these signs.

Dogs also become aggressive and defensive if they feel pain. Determine if your dog has mood swings from crying to anger. If the erratic emotions become a regular thing, you might want to take your dog to the vet.

3. Does your dog eat and drink normally?


Consider creating a special diary to track whether your dog is eating and drinking. It’s not unusual for a dog to occasionally skip eating or not eat as much as usual. But if your dog doesn’t eat for more than three or four days, you should be concerned and contact your vet.

You may need to try new tricks to get your dog to eat. One option, feed your dog by hand.

If your dog is ill or if your dog has a condition that makes it difficult to eat or swallow, you may need to consider more extreme measures such as feeding tubes.

Work with your vet to determine whether there’s a medical reason why your dog isn’t eating.

4. Has your pet’s mobility declined?


This is another question to ask yourself before you know when is it time to let your dog go.

Most often, weakness and inability to move around freely are clear signs that the animal needs urgent medical help or has declined to the point it’s time to consider euthanasia.

5. Does the dog participate in family activities?


Does the pet still enjoy playing with his toys or cuddling next to you? Or does it seem like your dog is merely existing without enjoying life?

The answers to these questions will help give you a clue on what your next move should be.

6. What is your pet’s emotional state?


When it feels like your dog’s days might be over, it is essential to keep an eye on his emotional condition. Observe changes in behavior and note any reasons why they may have occurred.

Try to see if your pet still enjoys any activities or if your dog seems to always be scared or anxious most of the time. Your dog’s emotional condition can give you a clear sign if something is wrong!

7. Is my dog in pain?


If you notice your dog is in pain, consult with your dog to determine whether he would benefit from taking any pain pills.

Keep in mind that if the animal is suffering, you should do everything possible to relieve your dog’s suffering. Instead of continuing the animal’s pointless pain, it may be time to consider putting the dog down.

8. What are the best options for my dog?


Consider different options, but try to make an unbiased decision. Think of your dog first and avoid being selfish.

If you decide it is the time to stop your dog’s suffering, you may be wondering how it works. Euthanasia is performed either by a vet at a clinic or at your home.

What options are available? As a rule, euthanasia drugs are either pills or injections, which work similarly. Most vets use pentobarbital, which first renders the animal unconscious before stopping brain and heart functions. The whole process takes a few minutes.

9. Can my dog die naturally?


Some animals pass away naturally and peacefully in their sleep, but that’s rare. Most often, natural death can take a long time and make your beloved pet experience too much pain.

It’s difficult to watch your dog suffer. That’s why people, who choose to wait, often regret that decision. Thus, many vets and pet owners who already experienced this pain, recommend choosing euthanasia when it is appropriate.

10. How much does it cost to put your dog down?


In a clinic, this procedure should cost from $50 to $150, depending on the drug used. If a vet makes a house call, the price is higher and will cost around $85 to $125. That is the price for euthanasia only. There may be additional expenses such as cremation, cemetery spot, urn, shots of sedative, exam fee, or more.

11. How do I prepare to say good-bye?


If the signs are clear it’s time to let your dog go, you need to prepare yourself to put your dog down. There are many things you will need to do. In addition to deciding whether to bring your dog to a clinic or have your vet come to your home, you need to prepare emotionally.

How do you say farewell to your dog? The answer to that question is personal, but there is one common tip that will work for everyone– try to spend more time with your pet, show them love and affection until the last moment!

12. Should I bury my dog?


Once you’ve made the decision to end your dog’s life, you need to think about want you want to happen after your dog’s life is over. There are a few options available:

  • Burying a pet on your own property;
  • Buying a spot at a pet cemetery (around $300 and $800);
  • Cremation;
  • Let your vet take care of your dog’s remains.

It is hard to give recommendations, so you need to consider the options and decide what’s best for you!

13. How to get back to normal?


Losing a friend and a family member is hard, and it’s going to hurt. Thus, you have to think about how you personally could cope with this loss before it happens!

Don’t be ashamed to admit how you feel and get advice for others who have coped with losing a pet. Remember the good times and don’t feel pressured to rush into getting a new dog.

Final words about using a “when to put your dog down checklist”


When you get a pet, you make a commitment to give your dog all the love and care they need. You open your heart and home to a new family member.  you have to make the hardest decisions. And knowing when to let your dog go is one of the most difficult.

Use this when to put your dog down checklist to help you recognize the signs it is the right time to say goodbye to a beloved pet.

One last tip, if it’s clear that letting go is the best option, do so without any regrets. Over time, you will heal and move on. Fortunately, all your precious moments and memories of your beloved dog will stay with you forever!

Elizabeth Price is a former psychology student at Montclair State University who is still eager to research almost any topic. She works as an academic advisor and blog writer at EssayPro, an urgent essay writing service. You can reach here on Twitter or contact her via email. Elizabeth is a contributor to Native Advertising InstituteLearnWoo, and TaskPigeon.




Roughest Decision a Pet Parent must make! 














Any Pet Parent fears that the day they will be forced to make a decision to continue treatment for their beloved fur baby or humanely choose euthanasia.   Personally, I have been in this situation way too many times.   And it doesn’t get easier.  The choice between watching your best friend suffer through their final days on Earth.and going on with your life minus your fur baby at your side is a very painful decision.

I have watched DCM destroy my Shitzhu, Bear’s life until she could no longer exist without an oxygen chamber.   With Rocco, my stately  black and tan Doberman, . he battled metastatic osteosarcoma..    When he was unable to walk and would cry out in pain every few seconds,  I immediately stopped treatment and helped him pass over the Rainbow Bridge.   Finally my last Doberman ,  Roxy, was a large female who was heavily  bonded with my late husband.   When my late husband came home with Hospice, Roxy stayed by the hospital bed until the end.  Roxi  began a GI Bleed 6 months after my husband’s death, had unsuccessful surgery and had to be humanely euthanized after surgery.   Each Dog’s passing took a piece of my heart  with them.

Hopefully this article will provide some assistance in dealing with the death of your pet.    While the article talks about dog death, all of the concepts apply to cat parents as well.

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