Signs That Indicate When it Is Time to Put Your Dog Down

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the most difficult decisions you can ever make as a dog owner is whether or not to euthanize your pet. Your dog has probably been with you through thick and thin, and it can be hard to tell when you should let a pet go or keep on fighting. In the end, you just need to pay attention to the signs and asks yourself if you'd want to live with what your dog is experiencing.

Good Days vs. Bad Days

Ever pet has good days and bad days, but if your pet is older or has a chronic condition, it's important to ask yourself whether or not your dog has more good days than bad. If your pet has far more bad days than good days, and its seems as if she simply endures each day, you may want to discuss options, like euthanasia, with your veterinarian.


Pain can be crippling, especially in a dog. Often, pain is caused by other physical problems in dogs, such as hip issues, and the pain just becomes more severe the longer it continues. If your dog is in so much pain that he can't get up at all or rarely does, putting him to sleep may be the best option for both you and him.

Lack of Hunger or Thirst

When a pet stops eating and drinking, it may be a sign that it's time to put her down, especially if she's older. Dogs who quit eating and drinking can have serious medical problems and may even have lost the will to live.

Poor Quality of Life

As a dog ages, he may lose control of his body. Unplanned bowel movements or urine may occur. He may go blind or simply no longer be able to move. Each of these actions takes away from your dog's quality of life and may be a sign that it's time to contemplate putting your dog down.

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About the Author

Sienna Condy began writing professionally in 2001 while attending the University of Cincinnati, and she's been at it ever since. Since graduating, she's written everything from marketing materials to articles on removing stains. Today, she enjoys writing about weddings, legal issues, science, health and parenting.