When to Say Goodbye
This is the most difficult decision a dog owner will ever make. Someday — far in the future, it's to be hoped — your Lab will be very old or sick and no longer enjoying life. As a dedicated caregiver, it is your duty to decide when it's time to give your Lab a peaceful release from life. Because you know your dog best, only you can make this decision, based on your Lab's quality of life. Factors to consider include appetite, attitude, activity level, elimination habits, comfort, and interaction with family members.
If you decide the time has come to say goodbye to your Lab, bring him to the vet. Euthanasia is painless. Your Lab will receive an injection of a drug that stops the heart and breathing muscles.
We all wish our dogs could go quietly in their sleep, dreaming of birds, but this happens only for a lucky few. When your Lab is no longer interested in eating, finds it difficult to move around, loses control of his bladder and bowels, and no longer enjoys being petted or interacting with family members, it's time to consider letting him go. Questions to ask yourself include whether your Lab has more good days than bad, whether he can still do his favorite things, and whether he acts as if he's in pain. The answers will help you get through the sadness when you finally must make that call to the veterinarian to set up an appointment for euthanasia. Remember the good times, and cherish your Lab forever in your heart and memories.