When is the right time to euthanize my dog?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra could you please tell me how I will know when it is time to let go of my (baby) 14 yrs. old Chihuahua who is not in great health. I feel/know he is suffering, but think "Oh maybe he will get better." He has heart problems, bad teeth, cataracts in both eyes, and arthritis in hips. I just love him so much. I do not want him to suffer just because I will be sad inside. Please help me make the right decision. Thank you for your website. It is so helpful.


Deborah Denton


Hi Deborah– thanks for your email. I'm sorry to hear about your Chihuahua. It is hard for some pet owners to know when is the right time to euthanize a pet.

Pets are too good of friends to let them suffer once their quality of life suggests that they are suffering.

I believe quality of life means that the pet is eating, drinking, maintaining their body weight and does things that suggest that they are enjoying life such as walk out side to go to the bathroom or maybe even play a little.

An article that might be helpful to you is "When to Consider Euthanasia in Dogs".


Dr. Debra

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