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Can it be time already for my dog? update: I'm going to look at another dog!

My Welsh Terrier will be 12 in November. Good weight, eager to go, happy with life. She was doing well until January when she injured her ACL. The ACL rehab went fairly well. In the process I learned she had mid-stage kidney disease. Vet recommended moving her to a renal diet and adding Dasuquin Advanced w/egshell membrane.

She did.not.like the food, but would eat it if I added something: zucchini, apple, bit of cheese, something. She lost two pounds, but was still pretty game. Would trot or run on walks, play with toys, actively engaged with life. Loved all manner of treats, and I switched her to low-protein treats.

About two weeks ago she developed a hot spot on her cheek. Vet shaved and cleaned the area, and put her on Apoquel to keep it from itching. I really wish I’d treated the darn thing myself instead of taking her to the vet. Apoquel killed her appetite, and her cheek itched, anyway. She became lethargic and one day was so out of it that my dog-sitting neighbor texted me at work, alarmed.

No more Apoquel, but her appetite has not returned.

I tried Royal Canin renal diet and Hills kidney diet kibble. Hard pass. She’s always hated canned food, and still does. She ate scrambled eggs for a couple days, but no more.

The local specialty pet store has APupAbove gently cooked food, and she ate about one pound of it over 5 days. I’m feeding it by hand, one bit at a time. Today she’s just not interested.

She’s drinking well. Poop is mostly unformed, but mostly controllable. As in, no accidents in the house.

I think she’s winding down. She was my late DH’s dog, and I’m grateful to have had her company the past 5+ years. I’ll be sad when she goes, but am looking forward to more barn/riding time, and being able to take a trip without coordinating with my dog-sitting neighbor. Is that selfish?

She spends time around the house and yard, but is very often next to me. Like right now. She was back in the bedroom, but just came into the office and is gently snoring in her bed next to my desk.

I’ve looked at the Lap of Love site, and her quality of life isn’t great, although it doesn’t seem she’s in pain. Just not eating, and tired.

Sorry this is so long, and I’d appreciate any insights you have. thanks.


you are the one who can decide what her quality of life is. If she is not eating, it sounds bad to me. I am no vet, but in the last year and a half, I have lost two. I might have kept them too long. But it is your decision. Hugs to you.

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Dogs, like any animal, have no concept of Future.
It’s all Now for them.
I probably kept my DH’s cat (well, Our cat, but cats pick their person) alive too long after he died.
Not out of selfishness, but because he was a link to Tom.
Less than a year after I lost my husband, he died in my arms the day I finally said enough & was waiting for friends to drive me to the vet.
I wasn’t sure I could drive myself - still too fragile.

There’s a COTH saying:
Better a day too soon than a minute too late


I’m sorry. My 15 yr old with kidney disease had pretty much the same trajectory. First, no kibble, then ground beef had to be cooked to order, then she didn’t want her favorite, boneless skinless chicken breasts. I desperately tried everything: wet food, treads, cat food, baby food. The decline was over a couple weeks. Things to try: appetite stimulants, Pepcid., Cerenia. She would love something 1 day & then no more. The less she ate, the more tired she was (obviously).

You’re not selfish, but do cherish this time. It goes quickly. I used Lap of Love & they were exceptional.

I wish you peace & strength. She’s lucky to have you looking out for her.


I sent an email to Lap of Love and the nicest man called a few minutes later. It’s all set up for Friday afternoon.

I didn’t think it would hit me this hard.


Spoil her silly and then let her cross the bridge.

I’m sorry for the heartbreak you must be experiencing. It’s the worst part of owning an animal.



I absolutely agree. When I put down my 14 year old retriever, he had the best last day ever. Ate whatever he wanted (McDonalds cheeseburgers were his fave that he hadn’t had in years), napped wherever he pleased, and we watched “The Secret life of Pets” while he snoozed in my lap. He wasn’t very mobile in those days so he was perfectly content to have his food brought to him between naps. The vet came to the house so he was euthanized while he was asleep in his favorite spot. He just didn’t wake up. It was awful for me, but his transition was peaceful and painless.


Hugs. Lmk if you have questions. It truly is the kindest gift. I’d never done in home euthanasia. Now, if given the option, it’s the only way I’d choose. You’re going to be overwhelmed with emotions. Give yourself time & think ahead of some activities to get out of the house & occupy yourself. Deep breaths & show her all your love.


thanks. I’ve already committed to getting to the barn on Saturday, and for the first time in a long time, can stay as long as I want.

The one treat she still loves is chicken jerky. I’d cut her back to half a strip a day, in an attempt to cut her protein. She’s had 3 full strips since I made the call, and might get another one tonight.



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No matter how many times, no matter how “unimportant”* the animal, it is a loss.

*I’ve cried for chickens, not only the ones who act like pets.
Especially the ones I’ve had to cull for illness or injury
I still feel like I’ve let them down somehow.

Spoil your pup rotten.
Say goodbye & know you spared her a harder passing.


I am sorry. It is never easy even when it looks like the time might have come. We are just so unwilling to say goodbye. It just hurts so much.

Refusing to eat is my go to. Not just for a day but for a decent period of time and when you add the tiredness I can usually muster up the courage to let them go.

I hope your pup makes a turn for the better. The meds can’t help.


Hugs and love for both of you. I agree that not wanting to eat is not a good sign and it is better to let her go before she is truly miserable. It sounds like she is ready for the journey across the bridge and you are ready for a new chapter and both of those are ok. Spoil her rotten if she’ll let you in the time she has left.


Just wanted to let you know that you are doing the right thing, and that in home euth is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

I will never do it another way.


Hugs and jingles to you and your sweet dog. Doing the right thing never seems to get easier.

And to answer your question - no, of course it’s not selfish. Sometimes we don’t realize how much time our pets take in our lives.

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Dogs are hard when they (for whatever reason) decide they don’t want to eat and you cannot force feed them.

I went through this with my Mom’s cocker spaniel. It was grueling and distressing to both us and the dog. We never did find out what was wrong with her…she was 13. I felt like I pushed it a couple weeks too long but she was my mother’s only companion :disappointed_relieved:. Mom seemed to understand.

{{{{ HUGS }}}}



I’m sorry for this time. It is never easy, sounds like you are doing everything you can to make her last days the best possible.
No, I don’t think its selfish to look forward to longer days because of less responsibility. I think it is healthy to look for, to search for positive aspects in life, particularly when facing a difficult time. No need to focus just on the necessary but difficult.


Big hugs. I’m facing a similar situation with my 15 year old dog. I wish it was easier. :heart:


Thinking of you & your girl today. Peace & strength coming your way.