20 answers

I Need to Put My Dog to Sleep

My Labrador is 10 years old, has been with us since he was a puppy, and now he has hip dysplasia, he can steel walk, but falls a lot, he is taking medicine for pain, but the time to make him rest is on the corner. I just don't know how to proceed telling the kids, and at the same time, hold myself together .

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I am in the same boat as you. My dog is almost 16 and I got him as a present from the owners of the parent dogs. He has outlived both his parents and all his siblings. My daughter is almost 6 and I have been telling her to say good bye to him, because he will be going to puppy heaven soon. The hardest part is getting up the nerve to take my dog to the vet. I have had several offers to take him for me, but I still cannot do it. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

There is some great advice here about telling the kids. I just wanted to say that it is OK if you can't "hold it together" for the kids. Since being sad and tearful when a loved one dies is appropriate, it is OK to model that for them--you are sad, they can be sad, and together you will all heal and it will get better.

When I was 9 we had to put my dog down--on Christmas Eve. Really. My father fell apart when he told me. When his grandmother died a few years later, I could handle his tears much better because I knew that it was OK and that it would get better with time.

Good luck.

More Answers

Our family friend, Boo, was a 10 year old yellow lab mix, as well. Everyone often said that he must've been part human, really such a wonderful dog. He suddenly became ill overnite, no warning signals. Took him to vet, received treatment and were told he most likely had a brain tumor. Had all sorts of tests done, we didn't receive results until three days after he was gone. Doctor gave him shot of vitamin B12 and B6 and something for pain, we then brought him home with us. We all said our goodbyes that evening as he slowly passed in our care. Nothing prepares us for such tremendous loss, but in some ways it strengthens. My three boys, at the time, were 10, 4 and 2 years of age. They all processed it in the way that was age appropriate. My husband and I allowed them to grieve in different ways, necessary. Our now 12 year old still has tears about him at times, we fondly talk about our everlasting friend. It was approximately 8 months after Boo passed on that we as a family felt that we wanted another dog. You will instinctively do the right thing. My husband and I prepared the kids and gave them the opportunity to say goodbyes in their own way. Believe me, it is never a good time, but you will lovingly guide them, I have faith. Take care and good luck. Sorry for your loss. A. M

1 mom found this helpful

I am in the same boat as you. My dog is almost 16 and I got him as a present from the owners of the parent dogs. He has outlived both his parents and all his siblings. My daughter is almost 6 and I have been telling her to say good bye to him, because he will be going to puppy heaven soon. The hardest part is getting up the nerve to take my dog to the vet. I have had several offers to take him for me, but I still cannot do it. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

when you are ready, explain to the children in brief form, and then read them this poem about the Rainbow Bridge, I can not copy the words but here are 3 links, the first one explains the poem, the other two have the poem on them, the 3rd one is for working dogs.

I've been thru this with children, my own, and the past few years, my grandchildren. plus they have lost horses, one really suffered,

Amazing, children do understand if parents can stay calm and explain the whys.

I put one down back in 1974 with out telling my children, I told them he died of Heart worms (he did but humanely as we were moving to England and I was told we could not take the dog) they still do not know the truth, and they are all in their 40's

Best of luck and remember it is for the benefit of the dog, animals can be helped out of their pain and misery, but humans can not.

I'm so sorry, this must be horribly hard :(.

I don't know what to do, but I do know what not to do. My mom took my dog to the vet one day, lying to me saying it was a check up, had my dog put to sleep, then lied for about a week saying teh dog had to stay overnight at the vet's. She lied for so long because she couldnt face telling me, when afte about a week I figured it out on my own and was abosloutely pissed at her for not letting me say goodbye to my dog and then lying forever.

The worst thing you can do for your dog is prolong his painful life. Doing so out of concern for the feelings of your children and yourself is understandable, but unworthy of the love your dog has given you all those years.
Tell your children that their beloved pet is living in pain, and the kindest thing to do for him is to end it. Your dog depends on you to make the tough choice.
I had to do that same thing, and once done, wished I had relieved her sooner.
Good luck. You're all he has.

ok-this is what our friends told their 3 year old when Bill (their cat) had to be put to sleep-it worked he (Dan their son) didnt cry and was ok with it.

they explained that bill was in lots of pain because he was sick so they had to take him to a place to "help" him die. but only because he was sick inside.

it sounds sooo harsh-but that was word for word what Dan told us. and he was glad that bill wasnt hurting anymore.

this response will not work for everyone. my parents told me (when ever a pet died and growing up on a farm was once in a while) was that the pet went to live on another farm.

your older children should understand, the younger should have the watered-down version.

hope this helps,
K.

I feel your pain. I had to put both my dogs down this past year within 3 months of each other. (they were 13 and 12) It was the hardest thing I ever did. Still cry once in awhile.
My daughters are 6 and 3....so the 3 yr. old really didn't notice. My 6 yr. old understood they were ill, and I told her they were going to the doctor to get better. When I got home, I told her they were too sick and went up to heaven. She got a good cry out that day and has been fine ever since.
They are so much a part of the family. I still haven't replaced them. I am not ready. Good luck!
B.
Wayne, NJ

There is some great advice here about telling the kids. I just wanted to say that it is OK if you can't "hold it together" for the kids. Since being sad and tearful when a loved one dies is appropriate, it is OK to model that for them--you are sad, they can be sad, and together you will all heal and it will get better.

When I was 9 we had to put my dog down--on Christmas Eve. Really. My father fell apart when he told me. When his grandmother died a few years later, I could handle his tears much better because I knew that it was OK and that it would get better with time.

Good luck.

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