Infographic: Use This Quality of Life Scale to Decide When to Put Your Dog Down

Written by:

PetMD Editorial
Published: September 13, 2019

As your dog ages and their health declines, it can be difficult to figure out when it's the right time to put your dog down.

The Quality of Life Scale allows you to evaluate your dog’s well-being to help you make difficult end-of-life care decisions. Originally known as the HHHHHMM Scale, this evaluation tool was created by Dr. Alice Villalobos, DVM, founder of Pawspice—a quality of life program for terminal pets—as a scoring system for a pet’s life quality.

The scale gives you tangible ways to measure your pet’s appetite, mobility, energy and pain levels, and overall well-being.

You can take this form to your vet to help you assign a score to each area. This will give you a more objective picture of your pet’s quality of life.

Use this Quality of Life Scale to evaluate your dog every day and mark your pup’s score on a calendar to keep track of their good and bad days. Then your vet can help you decide what type of care your pet needs or if it’s best for your pet to let them go.

End-of-life decisions are excruciatingly difficult, but the Quality of Life Scale can help you work with your veterinarian to make sure you are making the best decision for your dog.