“People identify more closely with their dog than ever, sometimes I’d say as a family member,” says Nicholas Dodman, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and collaborator on Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Healthy, Happy and Comfortable. But dogs are the only ones in the family (in most countries at least) that we can help to put out of their suffering. To put a dog down is the most important decision you’ll ever make for your pet, but one few are prepared to take, ethically or emotionally. The circumstances of this situation is unique for everyone, but Dodman has some general principles for all pet owners, including when to know the suffering is too much, what questions to ask the vet, and what happens when you do decide it’s time to let go.
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