Euthanasia in Dogs

Dogs provide their families with a lifetime of love and affection, but the average lifespan of a dog is around 10 to 13 years. That lifespan feels very short compared to that of their human caretakers. As a pet parent it can be very difficult to know when your dog’s time has come. Dogs’ health can decline for a variety of reasons including organ failure, cancer or crippling arthritis. The most important consideration is quality of life. Some dogs may slow down dramatically in their old age, but feel content to lounge around the house. Euthanasia is a very personal decision, but if your pet is in chronic pain that can no longer be managed, it may be time to talk to your vet. Consider the situation from your dog’s point of view and ask yourself if you are keeping them alive for your own reasons. There always comes a time when the animal’s suffering becomes too great.


There are some cases when a young and otherwise healthy dog may get sick or injured so badly that the cost of surgery or treatment is prohibitive. Most vets offer some kind of payment plan or financial aid so you should never feel pressured to put down your animal due to financial reasons.


People react to the loss of their pet very differently. Some simply drop them off at the vet while others chose to have the vet come to end their pet’s in the comfort of their own home. Please think of the friendship and comfort your dog has provided you throughout their life, as short as it may be, and consider being there for them when their time comes to cross the rainbow bridge.




Veterinary Medical Ethics


Euthanasia of companion animals: a legal and ethical analysis.


Laboratory Animal Management: Dogs


An ethicist’s commentary on the case of the declining farm dog.


How effective is dog culling in controlling zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis? A critical evaluation of the science, politics, and ethics behind this public health policy.


Animal welfare position papers, puppy mills and you.