(Update: Our dog lived to be 17 years and nearly two months. We were unfortunately forced to put him down. This post was originally written years ago.)
Our dog is now 15 years old. We’re lucky he’s still with us.
A little over a year ago, it appeared as if he was dying. He had stopped eating, after a period of failing health.
Working with a skilled homeopath, he recovered from this illness. His energy and appetite also returned.
We also started taking much better care of him. We’ve ditched the dog food, even though he did do well for awhile on a certain grain free kibble. Actually, this kibble might have bought him a little more time. Before we were giving him regular store bought kibble heavy on the grains and light on the meat. That was a big mistake.
Now our dog eats a lot of organic and all-natural people food. He has a definite preference for people food. So we indulge him.
Putting Old Dogs to Sleep
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Last year, right after this crisis. I wrote two articles on putting older dogs to sleep. One asked the question of whether you can make the mistake of putting your dog to sleep too soon. I think it’s possible.
It might have something to do with my Catholic faith. But I believe life is precious. I don’t believe a dog should suffer, because there’s no point. It’s not going to strengthen them spiritually, like it might do for a person. So, from that standpoint, there’s no sense in letting a dog suffer.
However, our dog did suffer for a week. He clearly wasn’t well. But we didn’t want to give up on him. I remember so clearly how he responded well to the right homeopathic remedy. (There are a number of very good homeopathic remedies for special ailments, that you can buy over the counter.) Little by little, he started to get better.
We had to coax him to eat. I remember running to a local Chinese restaurant for some takeout food, which I knew he’d have a hard time refusing. Then his appetite returned. At one point, we had to carry him into our back yard so he could relieve him. We carried him back in the house. The image of him being able to do this himself, once again, is forever etched in my mind. All I could think, when I saw him climbing the steps of our deck is, “Thank goodness we didn’t put you to sleep.”
How to Know if it’s Time to Put Your Dog to Sleep
The picture to your right was taken on December 28, 2015. Our dog, as you can see, we very sick. It was taken as a farewell photo. We didn’t think he’d be around much longer. He was sick, but didn’t seem to be in pain. We had a plan, and that was to try to make him well, with the help of homeopathy.
I know this sounds crazy. But my friend and I prayed that he could recover. God can do anything. I know this must have helped. All of this happened close to Christmas. So we call it our “Christmas miracle.”
The picture you see at the top of this post was taken exactly one year later, on December 28, 2016. My daughter took this photo to mark the one-year anniversary of when we thought we would lose our dog.
We are so happy to still have our dog. We don’t know what the future holds. We know we won’t have him forever. We realize every day is a gift. But we’re so happy to have him. His quality of life has been excellent. We’ve had to bring him to the vet a couple of times for little things. They say he’s doing really well for his age.
I can’t help but wonder if our society has just adopted a mindset that we have to put dogs to sleep once they reach a certain age. Maybe we don’t. I never want my dog to suffer. I’m hoping when the time comes, he’ll just go in his sleep. I’m hoping to keep him around a little while longer too. Right now, I can hear him in the kitchen, eating the rest of my organic chicken soup that I didn’t finish for lunch.
Dealing With Putting Your Dog Down
I hope none of my readers ever have to deal with putting their dog down. I hope I never have to as well. That’s because I believe this is nothing we should ever have to rush into. If an animal is suffering, and really has no hope, then it’s something to consider. But I don’t think we should do it just because a dog is old.
Signs To Put Dog To Sleep
Also, I encourage my readers to find a good holistic minded vet and work closely with them. Alternative medicine for animals has come so far. For us, homeopathy has been such a help. If you don’t know of a homeopath, here’s another option. Vetionix makes wide-spectrum homeopathic remedies for animals. These formulas are designed for specific conditions. They’d certainly be worth a try, before you decide to do something that can’t be undone. I use homeopathic remedies judicously. So, if it were my dog, I’d stop as soon as I noticed significant improvement. I’d wait until my dog needed it (old symptoms returning) before I gave him another dose. Here are some remedies for specific and common ailments.
When To Put a Dog Down in Old Age
This post is soon to be updated. It was written two years ago. My dog was 14. Now he’s 16 and facing a major health crisis. If you can see from the picture above, there’s a little growth on his right eye. (His left eye in the picture.) That has grown a lot, and it’s gotten red. Our vet thinks it’s cancer.
Our dog doesn’t seem to be in any distress. He’s lively, active and his appetite is good. We’re treating it like cancer, and we’re treating it naturally. We opted against getting it biopsied. That’s because we didn’t want to take the chance it could spread further. Instead, we just started to attack it with natural remedies.
Our dog is eating an organic diet. We give him mostly people food. We also give him canned dog food. But it’s 100 percent USDA certified organic dog food. We’re giving him an herbal supplement and a vitamin-like supplement. He’s also taking a well-selected homeopathic remedy. We’re seeing positive results. The bleeding has stopped and he’s not trying to irritate it. The growth seems to be drying up. But I realize this growth may also do him in. But we’re still fighting.