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Question
Patti, I was very interested by the fact that you have cared for all of your dogs through all stages of their lives.  How do you know when it's time to euthanize your pet?  I'm trying so hard to be fair to her & not make her live a poor quality life.  Some days she seems almost playful but other days she seems to be in pain & doesn't even want to get our of her bed &/or go outside.  I love her dearly & can't bear to think of a life without her, but I don't want to force her to suffer.  Any advice that you can offer would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Deanna

Answer

Hi Deanna,

Sadly, I've had to deal with "end of life" issues with my dogs through the years.

It all comes down to the dog's quality of life. If your dog is not having a good quality of life, it may be time to consider putting her to sleep. Thankfully, there is a way to assess when "the time" comes. There is a scale called the "HHHHHMM scale". The HHHHHMM scale stands for; hurt, hunger, hydration, hygiene, happiness, mobility and more good days than bad. This scale is a good starting point for deciding how good your dog's quality of life is. See the HHHHHMM scale here:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1523

I don't know what your dog's ailment is, but if she's in pain you should be sure to provide pain medication as often as your dog needs it, and talk over your concerns with your vet. Allowing a beloved dog to be released from pain and suffering is the greatest selfless act of love we can show our companion.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,

Patti

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Patti

Expertise

To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.

Experience

My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Education/Credentials
Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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