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Jonsblond's avatar

Would you keep your dog at home while he is dying if he’s not suffering?

Asked by Jonsblond (5956points) February 14th, 2020 from iPhone

I can’t imagine taking him somewhere unknown to end his time while he’s comfortable and in a familiar place.

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19 Answers

Jonsblond's avatar

This is hard on all of us. It’s been going on since Christmas.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You give your dog the same consideration you would anyone you care about. Where would you rather be than home in your bed among your loved ones?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Of course, where else?

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seawulf575's avatar

I would. I have. It is always difficult and you have that unhappy moment when you realize the beloved pet is dead. But turn your back on them when they need you? That would be heartless.

JLeslie's avatar


I might eventually put him to sleep, it would depend on the situation. I would hope it could be done as a house call if I chose to do it. There are vets who come to the house for this sort of thing. It would be very hard for me to make that decision though, if my pet wasn’t suffering I’d be more inclined to wait for nature probably.

So sorry your family going through this. The family dog is a family member. Very sad.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I’m sorry about your dog.

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MollyD's avatar

Hi! If possible, it would be great to keep your dog at home under these circumstances. Our dog, Milly, was 13 when my job required us to move 1800 km. & she was already suffering from arthritis; the pain was noticeable as the dog, who used to run to be petted, if you just left the room for a minute, could hardly bear to be touched. Ergo, we knew the long drive would be too hard on her; so I made prepaid arrangements to have her put down just before we moved. At this time, we also had a young cat that had been with Milly since a kitten.
I’ll never forget the day I took her to the vet; I stayed with her to the end, the vet kindly let me cuddle her til I got control of myself so I could drive home. When I got home, Lucky started to look for Milly & she kept it up. Now Milly never took to the kitten; she would snarl if Lucky came near. But Lucky persisted & Milly, being older would often fall asleep on the couch & the kitten would leap up & curl down against her – til Milly awoke when it was snap snarl & down they would come. This got repeated several times in the day. From that day forward, Lucky never sat on our laps – she would sit on the couch; but not on us. She obviously blamed us for the disappearance of her friend. So it’s hard to loose a friend for all members of the family. And if keeping your dog at home feels right for you & your dog is not in pain, then, it’s probably the best move to make.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Have, would, and I know that I will again. That’s part of being a responsible pet owner.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I am so sorry @Jonsblond.
Yes. As long as they are not suffering. Dakota was going downhill for a year. It wasn’t until the morning she peed straight blood that we gave it up.

longgone's avatar

[Hugs]. I’m very, very sorry. This stuff is incredibly hard. Family dogs mean so much.

To answer the question: yes, within reason. I would ask the vet to be really honest with me. Is he sure the dog is not suffering? It can be hard to tell, as many dogs are quite stoic. Furthermore, I would ask myself and anyone who knows the dog well if we think he’s still enjoying life. A good life is more than the absence of physical pain.

I took my old dog in to the vet when she had become listless. She was always rather quiet, but definitely a dog with many moments of happiness. She loved her walks. She’d greet friends with great joy, and become very interested at the mention of food or the possibility to play with me and her dog friends.

On her last day, she couldn’t get excited for anything. That’s how I knew something was very wrong. Her paws and ears were getting too cold as well, suggesting physical discomfort even though she didn’t make any sounds of pain.

The vet ran some tests and said I could take her home, but cautioned that there was a great risk of her “drowning” as her lungs were filling with water. I couldn’t do that to her, so I opted to have them end her life there. You know how the right thing to do is often harder? That was the case there.

Of course, it would have been preferable to have her fall asleep peacefully at home. But that’s never guaranteed. Sadly, death is often a struggle. In my case, it helped that most of my family came to see her off. While she wasn’t in familiar surroundings, at least she was able to be with many people she loved. She always loved family get-togethers, and on her last day she caused one.

While I do regret depriving myself of even one more happy minute with her, I know it was the right choice because my motivation was to help her. And ultimately, she was going to die within a couple days. It was better for both of us to let her go. This way, she really did have a good life until the very last day. I would wish that for myself, and I’m glad I could give it to her.

janbb's avatar

@longgone You’re reminding me of my Prince’s end. He had a mass in his spleen and my vet said, “He’s an old dog and might die on the operating table. Instead of him suffering, you can take him home and treat every day as a gift.” He was doing better so after Christmas, we left him at the vet’s for boarding (they loved him there.) A few days before we were due to come home, they called and said he had started not doing well. We came home the next day. He was in the middle of the back floor with blankets on him and the vet techs were trying to feed him turkey from their lunches.

We went into a room and the vet let us have time with him and hold him while they gently put him to sleep. Like yours, his lungs were filling up with fluid. I remarked to the vet on how gentle it had been and he said, “Yes, my Dad just died and I wished we could do this for him.”

So, my point is that each case is different I guess and there is no right or wrong.

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Jonsblond's avatar

We found a service who provides at-home euthanasia. I called them at 8 am this Sunday morning and they arrived at 1:30 pm. My son and I were able to be with him as well as our cats. They took his body for cremation and his ashes will be spread at a nearby farm where his brother’s ashes were spread this time last year.

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janbb's avatar

@Jonsblond I’m very sorry. I know how sad it is to lose a dog.

Jonsblond's avatar

Thank you @janbb. I’m remembering Spot and Bear running around on the farm Jon worked at in Illinois. They enjoyed a good life. A farm is the perfect place for their ashes.

longgone's avatar

So sad. Hugs, @Jonsblond.

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