Checklist for When to Put Your Dog Down

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One of the more frequently asked questions by frank owners of their vets is, “ how will I know when it ’ randomness time ? ” Some vets will nod and tell you that you will know, and others will spout off the quality of liveliness scale based on your pawl ’ mho physical and mental wellbeing, a when to put down your dog checklist .
The truth is that in most instances, it ’ s a combination of both of these approaches that will give you the answer you seek .
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When to Put Your Dog Down Checklist

The Quality of Life Scale

Most veterinarian professionals will refrain from giving their personal impression when it comes to putting your dog down. They will, rather, tell you what they see from a veterinarian position.

They will follow that up with a series of questions that are by and large referred to as the “ Quality of Life Scale ” ( primitively developed by Dr. Alice Villalobos of Pawspice Animal Oncology Center and called the “ HHHHHMM Quality of Life Scale ” ) .
This is character of what darling owners casually call a “ when to put down your frank checklist. ”

Why are vets so reluctant to give personal opinions when it comes to putting your dog to sleep?

You may wonder why vets – even a veterinarian who you have known for decades – trust on the choice of life sentence scale when answering your questions about putting your cad to sleep .
The cause for this is about constantly because your veteran feels that as your frank ’ s defender, you have more intimate cognition of their complete wellbeing .
Your veteran can indeed tell you what the tests say ; they can tell you what they see. But those things are based on a remarkable consequence in time .
As elder dogs or dying dogs approach their final months ( or even years ), our pets experience good days and bad days .
merely person who experiences the sum of those thoroughly and bad moments and who has seen that same chase in healthier stages of their life can form a complete movie of the animal ‘s current wellbeing .

So why does your vet turn to the quality of life scale?

The “ timbre of life scale ” helps your vet to gauge whether your pet is physically healthy and able to continue their life sentence, but it besides prompts you to think about your andiron ’ s actual quality of life-based on which you can create the “ when to put down your pawl checklist. ”
sometimes, darling parents are in abnegation regarding their chase ’ south stream quality of life – normally, because they ’ re afraid to lose their four-legged companion – but the numeric value generated by the quality of life scale provides a less immanent point of reference .
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The Quality of Life Scale: How it Works

While some owners look at them when to put down your pawl checklist as a “ pedestrian ” thing, the timbre of life scale is closer to a scientific approach done and looked at by vets that objectively measures your frank ’ s actual quality of animation by quantifying seven important factors of your dog ’ s overall wellbeing. Each gene is rated on a 1-10 scale, and the seven numeric values are then added together to get a number between 1-100 .
The consensus is as follows :

  • A total score of 80 or above indicates a happy and healthy pet
  • A score above 36 to 79 indicates an acceptable quality of life
  • A score of 35 and below indicates that your dog’s quality of life is poor, and you should consider euthanasia.

On circus tent of the quality of life scale, this web site has a alone questionnaire for darling owners to decide on when to put down a dog with several personal questions to answer .
The Ohio State University besides has a thorough survey and questionnaire to help pet owners determine when it ‘s clock time to put down a dog :
Full When to Put Down Your Dog Checklist and Survey Full When to Put Down Your Dog Checklist and Survey

The Seven Factors of the Quality of Life Scale

numerical values are one part of the when to put down your dog checklist. still, the vets ‘ quality of animation scale besides considers seven extra factors alongside the numerical scale for a better appraisal :


Is your frump presently in pain ? If they are in annoyance, is that pain manageable by vet caution or pet pain medication 75 % of the time ?
If medication is not helping relieve the cad ‘s pain, how much would you gauge that your positron emission tomography is in pain ?
Signs that your cad is in annoyance may include :

  • Panting
  • Tail tucking
  • Licking the affected area
  • Vocalizing (barking or whining)
  • Being reluctant to move
  • An inability to get comfortable (this may be shown by panting)
  • Showing a pain response when an area is palpated

annoyance is the first and most significant view of putting down your dog checklist and life sentence scale to consider, and the rest of the assessment will come aboard this factor .
A score of 1 indicates that your dog is in pain most of the fourth dimension and that pain can not be relieved through medication or early checkup treatment .
Score of 5 indicates that your chase does experience trouble, but that pain is managed with medications 75 % of the prison term or more .
A score of 10 indicates that your dog is experiencing no pain at all or is experiencing minimal normal age-related pain .


Is your dog presently eating regularly, or are they refusing food ? If they are boring to eat or are loath to eat, how much matter to do they show in food or eating overall ?
If they are refusing food or vomiting/having diarrhea regularly, are they getting enough support, or are you having to hand feed them or use other methods ( a feed tube ) for feeding to ensure proper nutriment ?
Appetite evaluation is an important part of when to put down your cad checklist and life scale .
When evaluating your dog ’ sulfur hunger, it ’ mho crucial to consider that your pup may be experiencing nausea as a side effect of medicine or illness .
If you think that this may be the encase, spill to your veterinarian about anti-nausea medications that may be able to relieve nausea and increase your frump ’ sulfur appetite .
A score of 1 indicates that your dog is refusing to eat regularly and that you are noticing subtle signs of weight passing or signs of malnutrition .
Score of 5 indicates that your cad is eating a short slower than usual, often dividing one meal into multiple portions or simply not finishing a meal like they used to .
It may besides indicate that your dog is eating fairly well but is reluctant to eat a few times a week .
A score of 10 indicates that your pawl is eating normally .


Is your chase presently drinking normally, or are they drinking more or less than usual ? Is there a fair aesculapian explanation for this change if their thirst has changed, or is your cad just not matter to in drink in ?
alike to considering the appetite for when to put down your dog checklist, when evaluating your frump ’ sulfur thirst, consider that your pooch may be experiencing side effects from pain or other medication, symptoms of another health stipulate, or nausea causing them to drink more or less than common .
A score of 1 indicates that your frump is refusing to drink and is showing signs of dehydration .
Score of 5 indicates that your pawl is drinking urine but that their common drink in patterns have changed .
A score of 10 indicates that your pawl is drinking normally .


How is your darling ’ south hygiene ? Are they presently maintaining regular grooming habits ? Do they experience periodic loss of control of their bladder or intestine ?
If they do experience bladder or intestine restraint loss, are they mobile, or do they spend periods of fourth dimension sitting or lying in their own feces ? Is your andiron wholly fast and incontinent ?
Hygiene plays a vital function in your dog ’ s overall health and is crucial for putting down your frank checklist considerations. When your dog can not groom themselves by rights, they may require aid in their casual grooming habits .
If, however, your frump is unable to stand or walk, it may experience pressure sores that can lead to good infection. If your dog is incontinent and unable to stand or walk, they are besides at gamble for urine burn or faecal contamination of pressure sores .
A score of 1 indicates that your pooch may spend a set of time laying in their own lay waste to, or they may be unable to urinate or defecate without aid from you .
They may have pressure sores that frequently cause infection or have a aggressive and inoperable tumor or bulk causing tissue necrosis or contagion .
Score of 5 indicates that your frank may have fuss with elimination, may have periodic incontinence, or may have difficulty with mobility but placid be able to move around on their own regularly .
A score of 10 indicates that your andiron is grooming, urinating, defecating, and moving about normally .


Is your frump happy ? Do they distillery enjoy the things that they have always enjoyed, or do they show less interest ? Does your andiron still respond to you with enthusiasm – tail wag, coming to greet you at the door, and other regular behavior ?

Or does your cad indicate signs of depression, anxiety, or isolation ?
When assessing your dog ’ s overall happiness for putting down your chase checklist, it ’ mho necessary to consider signs of canine cognitive dysfunction. Like dementia in humans, many older dogs develop symptoms of CCD that can be relieved with modifications to their everyday and prescription drug medicine .
If your cad shows a traffic pattern in their retreat, depressed, or anxious behavior, ask your veterinarian if CCD could be a factor .
A score of 1 indicates that your pawl is infelicitous, depress, anxious, and no longer enjoys the things that they used to enjoy .
Score of 5 indicates that your andiron does experience “ bad days ” or periods of anxiety or depression, but overall, they still enjoy the things they used to .
A score of 10 indicates no refuse in your frank ’ s happiness at all .


Is your dog presently able to walk ? If they are walking, do they show signs of pain or arthritis that slow their mobility ?
If your dog is mobile, are they steadily on their feet ? Does your frank have worry getting to its feet, or are they unable to get up without aid and frump mobility equipment ?
Is their mobility affected by something that can be remedied through amputation or surgery ?
A score of 1 indicates that your chase can not stand or move on its own without your aid .
Score of 5 indicates that your frank is slower moving than they once were ( they may have trouble with step etc. ), but they are inactive independent and able to stand or walk entirely or with a harness for guidance or aid .
A score of 10 indicates that your andiron is amply mobile with no impediments to their mobility at all .


As the final circumstance for putting down your frank checklist, you must compare the past with the present .
When considering your frank ’ mho past few weeks, how do their “ good days ” compare to their “ bad days ” ?
Have they had more good days than bad, an adequate number of each, or more badly days than good ?
A score of 1 indicates that your frank has very few good days compared to their bad days .
Score of 5 indicates that your pawl has an adequate number of good and bad days .
A score of 10 indicates that your chase is living life as its “ normal self ” with no ( or very few ) bad days throughout the year .
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Using the Quality of Life Scale

More than a simple when to put down your chase checklist, the vets ‘ quality of liveliness scale for dogs gives darling parents a numeric value that can help determine their old or ill cad ’ second current quality of life .
calm, it doesn’t always provide the definitive answer that pet parents are looking for .
For this reason, it ’ second besides crucial to consider another factor when deciding to put your cad down – your feel as your cad ’ south bonded defender .
This is where a more even positron emission tomography owners ‘ subjective when to put down your andiron list comes in .

When to Put Down Your Dog?

You Know…

You Just Know When to Put Down Your Dog You Just Know When to Put Down Your Dog Dog owners who are going through this baffling fourth dimension of having to say goodbye to their patriotic companion for the beginning clock time might find themselves confuse and at a loss of what to do .
For this reason, I thought I ‘d share my own personal story of how I started researching when to put down your dog checklist examples for a better assessment of our situation .

A Personal Story

In 2017 I decided to put my beloved companion of fifteen and a one-half years, a then doddering black Labrador, to sleep .
For months before he began to slow down, I fretted over when or whether I would know when his clock came and, indeed, whether I could make that choice for him .
I have grown up with dogs my unharmed life, but there was something about Jet. He was what you would call a “ heart cad ” – he completed my center .
As he aged, I knew that he would never willingly throw in the proverbial towel ; he was besides stubborn and excessively much of a ma ’ randomness son .
I tried to prepare myself for losing him – reading everything I could, looking at the quality of life scales and when to put down your frank checklist examples, talking to numerous vets, vet technical school, behaviorists, and animal end of biography caution specialists .
I wanted person to tell me the answer to “ when is it time? ” Everyone had their own answers, but one that I received continually from professionals and friends who worked in pet hospice care is that I would “ just know. ”
now, I ’ m the kind of person who needs definitive answers, “ fair knowing ” wasn ’ t the answer I was looking for .
still, I held on to a modest hope that they were right, that my son would somehow give me the nod when the time came .

Change Happens

When the clock time did come, there was no nod, but there was a change. It ’ sulfur hard to put into words, but I knew in that clamant what everyone had meant when they said that I ’ five hundred “ just know. ”
I hadn ’ metric ton thought twice about it, but every day for fifteen and a half years, Jet and I had learned to read each other ’ sulfur expressions and body speech .
I had known at a glance that he was athirst, needed to go outside, wanted to play… and that dawn, I knew that he was ready to go. It wasn ’ t something I ’ five hundred had to read in his confront before, but there it was american samoa plain as day .
His eyes didn ’ thyroxine flicker the manner they used to, his common “ old homo grumbles ” weren ’ t made with the lapp gusto, and I knew .
thus, if you ‘re apprehensive about the signs and looking for a scientific when to put down your cad checklist, and when rather people tell you that you ’ ll “ simply know, ” even if you ’ re the kind of person who needs definitive answers, like me, believe me when I tell you that you will, you will know when it ‘s clock time .

Common Questions about Your Beloved Pet and His End of Life

If you still have questions about telling it is meter for your furred family member to go to a better place, the pursue FAQs should help .
You will see Q & As about your favored ‘s timbre of life, disease march, pet euthanasia, and lifelike death .

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Put My Old Dog Down?

Consider your furred class member and how he feels. As a pet owner, think about how he feels. You do n’t want to prolong your andiron ‘s suffer, therefore if he is in extreme pain that you ca n’t control anymore, let him move on .

Is It Too Soon to Put My Dog Down?

Think about your pet ‘s life and his potential distress to decide if it is excessively soon. It is not excessively soon if he is suffering, in pain, or has a first gear quality of life .

How Do You Know If Your Dog Has No Quality of Life?

Your vet can help you assess your pet ‘s health. If your frump has many bad days in a row, it is likely more than previous age .
To check the quality of life, consider if he has regular seizures, pain, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, or other symptoms .
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