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How do you know when it is time ?

9/22/21 @ 5:08 AM
USER SINCE 10/11/15

I have a 14.5 y/o lab...   from time to time I have to help him get up... but with some good effort he can get up on his own.  Sometimes he lays on his mat too long and when he dose get up to go out side he don't make it and leaves a mess to be cleaned up.

He can't really see past his nose much any more and his hearing is shot... And for the most part... he is so skinny... nothing but skin and bones. 

He still eats ...  still likes to get his petting... 

How do you know when it is time to take him in for the shot ? 


9/22/21 @ 6:26 PM
USER SINCE 6/20/13

Having put down a few too many dogs over my 72 years  I ask myself am I being selfish? Is the dog suffering?  am I being selfish in not wanting to let go of something I loved and been loved? Emotions are a big part of life but those darn animals cause us so much heartache! The last couple I learned that if their in bad health the coat starts to lose its luster and gleam. It's time to put them in your memory bank! Hope this helps. 

9/22/21 @ 4:22 PM
USER SINCE 12/20/12

Some really good posts here. I wasn't going to read the thread because it's such an emotional trigger. I've got a 14 year old lab sleeping next to me so I know my day of reckoning is coming soon. It won't be the first time.

I would never pretend to know when the time is right for someone else. I do know that my wife and I have always reached the decision at the same time. Every situation has been different.  Sounds like a cop out but usually you just know....

Sorry for your circumstance. As others have pointed out, be there and hold them when it's time.

9/22/21 @ 3:36 PM
One shot one kill

My lab was confused,  no longer housebroken,  and afraid of gunshots . 

Second lab the vet offered her a jar of baby food while it was done, and a paw print in clay .

9/22/21 @ 12:28 PM
USER SINCE 5/21/03

As posted, at 14.5, you are right about there from a time frame perspective.

Have you given the dog glucosamine yet?  That allowed my lab about 10 more months of life, and without joint pain.  If you haven't done that, look into it!

I had to put my cat down about a year and a half ago.  She told me it was time.  Jumped up onto my lap and just looked at me.  She was very thin and the glucosamine wasn't working so much anymore for her.  The process was good for her.  She drifted to sleep while I was there holding onto her.

When I had to say goodbye to my lab, her spirit was still strong, but the body had given out.  She couldn't stand anymore and while she did still like her pettings, if you petted her joints she would nip at you.  Nothing vicious, but you could tell how much pain she was in.  Process was good for her as well.

And this stinks.  It really really does.  No way around it either.  But it is what you sign up for when you allow a pet into your heart.  In many ways we treat our pets better than we treat our seniors when it is "that" time.

9/22/21 @ 10:54 AM
USER SINCE 6/30/21

I feel for you. I've been in your same shoes too many times. About 7 years ago we ended up putting 3 dogs down in 10 months. The first, I came home and could tell something. Rushed her to the vet. She was bleeding internally. Had no choice but to put her down. The second is a hard one because we didn't HAVE TO put him down, but he was quite old, had mobility issues and was violent towards our new puppy. He broke a molar and it would be close to $1000 for surgery. I made the decision. It wasn't easy. The last one I really struggle with too. 9 months old. Spent thousands on a health issue even UW couldn't figure out. Lucky for us, our breeder has a wonderful health guarantee and after speaking with her, she suggested I put the dog out of it's pain. I guess what I'm getting at is everyone is different and every situation is different. Based on what you posted, I know what I would do, but I don't have all the facts and it's not a member have my family. I feel for you and your family. I'll keep y'all in my prayers. The picture I posted is the morning we put down Boo, or 9 month old. Still brings a tear to the eye.

9/22/21 @ 10:14 AM
USER SINCE 6/16/03

As someone mentioned, you will know when the time is right.  Third dog in same age bracket.  Last winter could hardly get up at times due to arthritis, and thought this was it.  Did very well this spring and summer and actually jumped off the dock a time or 2 for the kids chasing her ball. Will see how this winter does. Appetitie good and all, so we make sure to go for our walks every day to hopefully maintain strength for the winter.  You owe your dog to be in your arms in the final moment.

9/22/21 @ 9:44 AM
USER SINCE 8/24/07

It's sad to say, but it sounds like it's getting close. Biggest thing to consider is the dog itself. Yes, slow and stiff, but once up and moving around a bit, how is it?  Enjoys being up and around, or just wants to go back and lay down?  Good that there's still an appetite. That's definitely something to keep an eye on, imo. If they don't eat, that's a sign. 

Best advice, really load up on the loving, and do things it enjoyed. A last trip to a place it can splash around, maybe a cheeseburger on the way home....

And not sure if you've been through it before (man, tearing up just typing this), but for as tough and painful as it is, do your dog a favor and be there when it's being done.  I cannot imagine a worse send off to the rainbow bridge than to not be there for them.

9/22/21 @ 9:43 AM
USER SINCE 9/27/01

My previous dog was also 14.5 years old and was a lab mix. He was the first dog that I had to put down. I had the same question that you have, when is it time? I had a lot of people tell me that he will let you know when it's time. I thought that was a BS answer but it ended up being true. I believe that when the dog's quality of life has dwindled to where they're no longer happy, it's time. And they will make it obvious. 

I was really scared when the day came. I researched euthanasia and knew what to expect but you can never really fully prepare for that sort of experience. I will say that under the circumstances, it was a blessing to have the option to put him down. He wouldn't even eat bacon and was not in a good way. It brought both of us peace. While I don't look forward to the day when the current pooch needs to take a ride, I don't fear it anymore as it's the right thing to do for your best friend. 

Good luck and God Bless. 

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