Your dog is part of your family, so a cancer diagnosis can be devastating. You need to keep your heads up and do whatever you need to do with your dog’s needs in mind. Most people find it difficult to understand the process and they cannot figure out when it is time to let their furry friends go. So, my dog has cancer, when do I put him down?
Each situation is unique
Never make a decision based on someone else’s experience or dog because dogs are different. Before deciding when to put a dog down, it is imperative to understand that dogs are different. For example, some dogs might be diagnosed with cancer when their behaviors become worrying for their owners. Some others are diagnosed with the affection at a routine exam. Some dogs have a few days left, while others can have months.
Your dog is just like a person – different dogs have different bodies and different reactions to medical conditions. Your vet will always help you accordingly, but daily notes and observations regarding your dog can help you make a better decision. Now that you understand that two situations are never alike, what else do you need to know?
Can a dog with cancer feel comfortable?
My dog has cancer, when do I put him down? There is no rush and there is more education required before that sad moment. How does your dog feel while suffering from cancer? Will your dog feel miserable on a daily basis? Will it manage to enjoy its time left and still feel comfortable? The answer depends on a few factors and the type of cancer is the most important one.
Your vet will try anything they can to make your dog feel comfortable. A special diet could help, while pain management is also worth some attention. More frequent checkups and tips for extra comfort can add some joy to your dog’s life. Such hard times require a closer relationship with the vet to ensure your dog is in safe hands.
My dog has cancer, when do I put him down?
You know this time will come, but you do not know when. Your dog cannot tell you how it feels, so you have to understand the signs associated with the sickness. A drastic decline in the appetite means your dog is miserable. Some dogs may stop eating at all. Rapid weight loss will inevitably kick in too, while diarrhea and vomiting tend to persist. For such signs, you know it might be the time to let your best friend go.
Difficulty moving, slowing down, breathing changes, permanent limping and lethargy are also common signs that you have to tell your dog goodbye. Besides, your furry friend will lose interest in things they used to love.
Keep in mind that you know your dog better than anyone else, so you should know precisely when its daily behavior changes to 180 degrees. If you think your friend is suffering all the time, you might want to consider euthanasia.
My dog acts fine and feels happy
Again, different dogs act in front of cancer in different ways. The signs of euthanasia will not kick in straight away. Your dog will feel normal for a while, but sooner or later, they will still occur. Some dogs will feel comfortable and enjoy their lives, despite having cancer. Obviously, you do not want to kill a happy dog. Remember – there is no pressure at all. If your dog seems to enjoy life, take advantage of it. You are lucky. Spend as much time as you can together and enjoy every moment of it.
The bottom line, many pet owners feel overwhelmed about this decision, but there is no pressure. You do not always have to go this way. While some dogs may show a visible decline in no time, some others will carry on for months or years with cancer.
If your dog is happy and carries on well, you should definitely enjoy its last months around you. If it feels miserable and there is no joy in its daily activities, you have to act in your friend’s interest and let it go.
Euthanasia is a sad moment in a dog owner’s life, but there are worse ways to finish this relationship. Letting your dog struggle just for you to have it around some more is not really in its interest – it is just a selfish act. You know your dog better than anyone else, but do take a vet’s advice into consideration too.