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Before Putting Dog to Sleep

Q. We've been struggling with this for months, and just don't know what to do. We have two dogs, nearly ten years old, that are in relatively good health for their age.

The female, however, has to go to the bathroom frequently, and gets us up anywhere from two to four times a night to go outside. We're tired! The other thing is that pets aren't fitting into our lifestyle like they used to . . . the kids are grown and we have changed jobs and it's become an inconvenience to get home at lunchtime to let them out.

They've always been "inside" dogs so they're not used to being out in the cold. It would seem cruel to suddenly make them "outside" dogs and i know they wouldn't be happy being apart from their people.

Anyway, we're at the point where we've decided we can't keep them any longer, but don't know if we should try to find another home for them, or have them put to sleep. I haven't checked with the humane society, but my guess is that they wouldn't take animals that old. What are your thoughts?

A. This is a bit of an ethical issue. Your older female dog my be developing kidney problems and that is why the urination has been increasing in frequency, it would be best to have her evaluated for any major problem.

This can be done with bloodwork and a urinalysis at your regular vet. As far as the pets and what to do with them I am not much help in that one.

Pets are like children that never grow up and leave the nest so, when they get older and our lives change only that person can decided what the right course of action.

If anything I would recommend contacting a rescue organization first before putting them to sleep.

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Veterinarain Gregory Herndon DVM

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