Deciding whether or not to euthanize your pet can be one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make. Making the choice between life and death for a loved one can be confusing and emotional. Know that your pets are blessed to have you in their lives and being able to offer them the option for euthanasia (literally “good death”) is something to be grateful for.
When Is It Time?
We wish there was one simple answer to help you make the decision. You and your family truly know your pet the best and this decision must be something you decide together and are comfortable with. Consider these points when looking at your pet’s quality of life:
- Is your pet’s quality of life declining?
- Is she losing weight or sleeping more than normal?
- Does your pet still enjoy her favorite activities?
- Is your pet in a lot of pain or having a difficult time getting up or laying down?
- Does she pant, lick, or whine frequently?
- Can your pet maintain her normal routine, greeting you at the door, going outside on her own, etc?
- Does your pet seem to be suffering? Her eyes might look vacant or she may act anxious or distant.
- Is her personality changing? Is she becoming unpredictable or aggressive when approached?
- Do you worry for your family or your kid’s safety around her?
- Has your pet stopped eating or drinking? Is your pet incontinent, peeing or pooping inside without knowing it?
Every pet and family is different and everyone’s idea of a “good” quality of life are different. If you have noticed any of these indicators, please discuss with your family and your veterinarian the best decision for your pet. Besides euthanasia, hospice care may be a good option.
If you are unsure whether you are making the correct decision for your pet, consider your options carefully.
- Understand your pet’s medical situation. If you have a good understanding of what your pet is dealing with, it may make your decision easier. Your veterinarian is happy to provide as much information as possible to help you and your family make sense of the diagnosis.
- Consider your financial capabilities. This can be difficult for pet lovers to understand, but this aspect can be incredibly important. Many diseases and illnesses are treatable or curable but knowing how much you can afford to do needs to be a consideration. Understand, your financial situation has nothing to do with how much you love your pet.
- If you do decide to treat or manage, know the time and difficulty involved. Post-treatment care or medical management can be very time-consuming and your family or lifestyle may not be able to support the requirements. Before you decide to treat or manage, know what follow-up is involved.
- Do you have the support needed for whatever decision you make? Emotionally and mentally, having a support system to help you through will give you peace of mind knowing that someone is there for you, just as you are for your pet.
At Parker Center Animal Clinic, we are here for you during these difficult decisions. Although we can’t make the choice for you, we will help you through the tough questions, give you the answers to the medical questions, and provide support for you through all of your decisions.