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How do you know when it's time to put a pet down?


Secret Agent
Staff member
How do you know when it's time to put a pet down? My parents had to put a few dogs down in the past few years and it is always hard knowing just how long to give them. Have you ever had to put a pet down? How did you make the decision on timing? Do you feel you've ever waited too long?


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
Four dogs and counting, and it never gets easier. It's hard to explain, but you just know when it's time. Obviously, you do not want to lose your pet - he/she is part of the family, however, on the other hand, you also don't want to see them suffering. The four times my parents had to do it, we all knew it was the right time to do it.

It's tough, real tough. Not looking forward to doing it with my dog. I'm still a few years away, though.


I ♥ Haters
We had to put our Lucky Bear down last year and it was awful. She was 7 when my brother rescued her. She was supposed to be euthanized the next day. She went on to live another 7 years with us and ended up being like a mother to our two other dogs. I knew it was her time to go when she collapsed one night and couldn't get up. Even then, I spent every penny I had on her treatment. By the end, all I had left in my savings account was like 15 bucks. The vet told me not to keep spending money on her treatments since she was really old but I wanted to exhaust every option possible. My only regret is not being with her when she was euthanized. My brothers did that dirty work while I stayed at home and sobbed in the living room with my mom. My brother comforted her, she kissed his face a couple of times and then rested her head in his lap while the vet injected her. She went really peacefully.

Anyway, my point is that we left no stone unturned before we made the decision to put her down. I exhausted every option, got second opinions and even changed the vet twice. It was a really difficult decision to make and dread knowing that I will have to make it again one day. But knowing that we gave her a great life and did everything in our power to try and extend her life, even if it was just a couple of days, gives me a small modicum of closure and comfort. I will always miss and love her because she was my baby but I can definitely look back on most of my time with her really fondly. She left me with a lot of great memories. ❤


Registered Member
This is something I never want to even think about. I have never done it and I hope I will never have to do it. I don't think I could ever get over something like this.


Creeping On You
I've never had to put a pet down, all my pets that have passed have usually passed peacefully. I grew up on a large property and all our pets were outdoor pets so usually you just kinda found them wherever they chose to go to sleep. Or they'd just disappear. I guess though you basically just have to decide, are you keeping your pet alive for you, or for them? Its really painful to lose a pet, but if your friend is suffering and there's no way to alleviate it, letting them go peacefully before suffering the painful death throes is the right thing.


Registered Member
I've had to go through this three times and it's always hard. my decision was always made on the basis of the pet's quality of life. Usually pain can be controlled but if an animal can't do the things they have always enjoyed then life isn't worth much to them. Our little rabbit could no longer stand up very well, didn't want to eat.. she crouched with her head in a corner and stayed there.. I knew it was time, she was just waiting to die. Our first dog had a disease with very little hope of recovery and had to have fluid pumped out of her lungs daily. Things weren't going to get better. our second dog had a spinal condition and couldn't walk and it was spreading to her brain making her dizzy and nauseous... So hard to watch things like this happen :(


Registered Member
I never had to put a pet down because my cockatiel died rather suddenly.

When I was real young, I had a little dog as a pet. But I never had to put him down because he was young and I only had him for less than a year.