Knowing When To Put Your Dog To Sleep

knowing when to put your dog to sleep

I wasn’t sure if this post was going to be a sad announcement of my 14-year-old dog’s passing. Or, if I’d be able to share the happy (but unlikely) news of his recovery.

Our dog stopped eating Christmas day, following a long, slow period of decline. Throughout this time, we’ve treated him with various natural remedies, including a grain-free diet. In recent months, we’ve been keeping a close eye on him, and responding to his symptoms with homeopathic remedies.

We adopted him at the age of three. Since then, we’ve been using¬†homeopathy, in an effort to keep him healthy.

Fortunately, we have a good homeopath. She supported us through this last crisis. One of her recommendations did seem to help. When we hit a brick wall, she recommended something called Rescue Remedy. It’s my own personal feeling that every pet owner should learn more about this¬†gentle wide-ranging homeopathic formula, if the need arises. I’m glad we had some Rescue in the house. It was developed by a medical doctor in the early 1900’s, and is typically used for stress, shock and trauma. (For instance, a trip to the groomer.) Our dog’s body was undoubtedly very stressed.

Please understand, though, that I’m not claiming Rescue Remedy is a cure all, or will help any other dog. I’m just sharing my own experience with this now famous remedy which I personally believe should be in everyone’s house. The formula you see here is made just for pets. It’s sold by Pureformulas, a large discount online health food store.


Rescue Remedy for AnimalsRescue Remedy for Animals

Rescue Remedy Reviews for Dogs


I grabbed our bottle of Rescue Remedy. I’ve owned this for more than a decade. So I put two drops on my dog’s nose. He was sleeping, and barely seemed to notice. Nothing seemed to happen immediately.

The next morning, he was up and walking around. This was an improvement. He was even drinking a little. By mid-morning, however, it became clear all was not well. He began having loose runny movements. Every 10 to 15 minutes he had to go to the bathroom again. I couldn’t reach my homeopath.

But I know enough about homeopathy to know that homeopathic Arsenicum album might help with the diarrhea.

So I gave him a dose of Arsenicum album 30x, and hoped for the best. At first, he seemed a little worse. I tried to tell myself that it due to a temporary aggravation. (I hoped good things would follow.) After about an hour, the diarrhea stopped. He was sleepy, and wanted to rest. But he was also thirsty. I took it as a positive sign.

The next morning he got up early. He no longer had diarrhea. He was also willing to drink and eat just a little. But he slept a lot. We braced ourselves for what seemed like the end.

The second day after giving him that last remedy, he also slept a lot. But he was fairly thirsty. He also ate a little.

He woke up late on the third day. But it was clear something had changed. He ate more. He was up and around more.

For at least a week, we had been helping him outside to “do his business.” We carried him back in the house when he was done. Now, though he surprised us by getting up the steps himself.


Is Rescue Remedy Safe for Dogs?


By day four, our dog was positively ravenous. We fed him often. He was alert, awake and engaged. On day six, he woke up hungry again. He now wants his usual belly rubs.

I still don’t know what the future holds, or how long the good effects of his homeopathic treatment will last. But we’re enjoying every second we have with our family pet.

I believe the Rescue Remedy helped our dog, even though we needed to follow up with another remedy. After giving it to him, we now had clear symptoms to work with.

After this experience, I’m even less in favor of the current practice of putting old animals to sleep, just because they’re failing. Perhaps, before trying that, a holistic animal care expert can suggest something else.

I realize not everyone will agree with me. Nor does everyone have access to a skilled homeopath. I’m convinced that homeopathy helped our dog get better. (I also prayed, and I realize it’s God who heals.)

Anyway, I’m so thankful we didn’t rush him off to the vet to “put him out of his misery.” As I said in my last post, this is a permanent decision that can’t be reversed.

You can read Part I of this story here.



Please understand that I’m not an animal healthcare expert, and that I can’t give medical advice or promise you will see similar results if you use homeopathic remedies on your dog. You will likely have best results working with a professional homeopath. My own homeopath tells me that remedies must be given judiciously, and not repeated unless there’s a clear need to do so. If you’re interested in using homeopathy on your dog, I’d strongly suggest looking for a good practitioner while your dog is still healthy. You may also want to learn more about it yourself. One thing I’ve noticed in my two decades of working with homeopaths is that they are solo practitioners. They often don’t have coverage when they’re not available. So it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about this 200-year-old healing art, in case of emergencies.

A Beginner’s Guide to Veterinary Homeopathy

For Additional Reading


When Should You Put Your Dog to Sleep?

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