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Hi. I can't decide whether I should go visit the old dog in fragile health, who grew up with me many years ago, and who now lives with my parents half a world away. The dog is 16 yeas old 40lbs and mixed breed. We lived together untill he was 7, and i moved out and visited only once every few years. The dog always remembered me and was excited to see me and seemed to miss me when i left. The last time i saw him was over a year ago.
I learnt that the dog had a stroke couple months back, from which he survived, but his health is definitely declining. I am not sure if it'll be good for the health and wellness of the dog (as opposed to my own emotions) if I pay him a visit, knowing that I can only stay for a few days or weeks at most before having to leave again.
I'm worried my visit could just put the dog through unnecessary emotional stress, making him over-excited to see me and then sad again when i leave, both of which could be bad for his health. Is that a valid concern or should I just go visit and try to make the dog a little happier for however brief a time toward the end of his life?
What do you think? Answers appreciated. Thanks.
 

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If you want to visit the dog one last time, I don't think it will hurt. I don't foresee a 16yo dog getting over-excited. In addition, if you don't plan to stay long, I don't think it will help the dog much, but it may help you. I do think it will make his last few days a little happier.

Sad note - when my 16yo was at the Vet to be euth'd, we fed him treats and spoiled him, making him happier in his last moments, even though he was in pain ... It did make me feel a little better that he was happy to see people.
 

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I agree with Hank. I don’t think it will cause any problems to visit him. Dogs adapt fairly quickly to shifting households as a general rule. You know him best though; if you believe he will be able to handle you visiting, then don’t worry yourself over it. Plus, as mentioned, he is unlikely to be so greatly impacted at 16 years old. The only thing I can foresee having an impact on him, is the extra love and attention you will give him in the time you are staying!

There’s also the human component to this. I think it would make you feel a lot better to spend some time with him in his last few months. Have a good time with him. Show him lots of love. Sorry to hear he isn’t doing well. Sending well wishes your way xx
 
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