Owner Experience and the Choice to Euthanize

Rute Canejo-Teixeira, Isabel Neto, Luís V. Baptista, Maria M. R. E. Nizaa


The human-dog relationship has change significantly over the decades, with the dog now frequently being considered a member of the family, but it still falls to the human to grantee the dog’s well-being, both legally and morally. One of the decisions required of a dog owner is when, and if, to euthanize an animal.  It has been suggested that chronic illness, financial considerations and behaviour issues may predispose a dog to euthanasia. Through the use of questionnaires administered to dog owners, this study evaluated possible connections between reported canine health issues and owner choice to euthanize. Owners were asked if they had cared for at least one dog with chronic illness, that suffered a trauma (vehicular or otherwise), had been hospitalized, if their dog had bitten a person or an animal and if they had ever euthanized a dog. Contrasting with some previous reports, no association was found between any of the issues investigated and euthanasia. It is possible that the voluntary nature of this study may have introduced a bias, attracting owners with higher educational and economical status, which may make them more reluctant to euthanize their dog. In any case, more studies are required to clarify this issue.


euthanasia; dog; owner; dyad; relationship.

Full Text:



S. B. Barker, C. S. Rogers, J. W. Turner, A. S. Karpf, and H. M. Suthers-McCabe, “Benefits of Interacting with Companion Animals,” Am. Behav. Sci., vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 94–99, 2003.

Assembleia da República, Estatuto Jurídico dos Animais. http://data.dre.pt/eli/lei/8/2017/03/03/p/dre/pt/html, 2017, pp. 1145–1149.

A. A. Rocha, “EUTANÁSIA EM CANÍDEOS E FELÍDEOS,” Universidade Téncia de Lisboa, 2010.

E. Voslárová and Passantino Annamaria, “Stray dog and cat laws and enforcement in Czech Republic and in Italy,” Ann Ist Super Sanità, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 97–104, 2012.

C. W. Bruce, B. A. Brisson, and K. Gyselinck, “Spinal fracture and luxation in dogs and cats,” Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol, vol. 21, pp. 280–284, 2011.

E. Streeter, E. Rozanaski, A. Laforcade-buress, L. M. Freeman, and J. Rush, “Evaluation of vehicular trauma in dogs: 239 cases (January–December 2001),” J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., vol. 235, no. 4, pp. 405–408, 2001.

C. Siracusa, L. Provoost, and I. R. Reisner, “Dog- and owner-related risk factors for consideration of euthanasia or rehoming before a referral behavioral consultation and for euthanizing or rehoming the dog after the consultation,” J. Vet. Behav. Clin. Appl. Res., vol. 22, pp. 46–56, Nov. 2017.

K. A. Houpt, D. Goodwin, Y. Uchida, E. Baranyiová, J. Fatjó, and Y. Kakuma, “Proceedings of a workshop to identify dog welfare issues in the US, Japan, Czech Republic, Spain and the UK,” Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., vol. 106, no. 4 SPEC. ISS., pp. 221–233, 2007.

L. van den Berg, M. B. H. Schilder, H. de Vries, and Leeg, “Phenotyping of Aggressive Behavior in Golden Retriever Dogs with a Questionnaire,” Behav. Genet., vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 882–902, 2006.

K. L. Overall and M. Love, “Special Report Dog bites to humans — demography , epidemiology , injury , and risk,” Javma, vol. 218, no. 112, pp. 1923–1934, 2011.

P. Rezac, K. Rezac, and P. Slama, “Human behavior preceding dog bites to the face,” Vet. J., vol. 206, no. 3, pp. 284–288, 2015.

D. L. Wells and P. G. Hepper, “Prevalence of behaviour problems reported by owners of dogs purchased from an animal rescue shelter,” Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., vol. 69, no. 1, pp. 55–65, 2000.

E. N. Osullivan and A. J. Hanlon, “A review of official data obtained from dog control records generated by the dog control service of county cork, Ireland during 2007,” Ir. Vet. J., vol. 65, no. 1, p. 1, 2012.

B. Turcsán, Á. Miklósi, and E. Kubinyi, “Owner perceived differences between mixed-breed and purebred dogs,” PLoS One, vol. 12, no. 2, p. e0172720, 2017.

L. C. Marston, P. C. Bennett, and G. J. Coleman, “What Happens to Shelter Dogs? An Analysis of Data for 1 Year From Three Australian Shelters,” J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci., vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 27–47, 2004.

J. K. Murray, W. J. Browne, M. A. Roberts, A. Whitmarsh, and T. J. Gruffydd-Jones, “Number and ownership profiles of cats and dogs in the UK.,” Vet. Rec., vol. 166, no. 6, pp. 163–168, 2010.

T. Rehn, U. Lindholm, L. Keeling, and B. Forkman, “I like my dog, does my dog like me?,” Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., vol. 150, pp. 65–73, 2014.

H. S. Lund, S. Eggertsson, A. M. Grøndahl, and A. V Eggertsdóttir, “Views on euthanasia and the rehoming of dogs in Norway and Iceland.,” Vet. Rec., vol. 166, no. 24, pp. 749–52, Jun. 2010.


  • There are currently no refbacks.





About IJSBAR | Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions | Contact Us | DisclaimerFAQs 

IJSBAR is published by (GSSRR).