Making the decision to humanely end the life of a pet has often been described as one of the toughest decisions one has ever had to face. Not only can it be the source of much inner conflict and guilt, but there are often financial concerns that factor in, multiple family members to consider and in some cases other companion animals.
Having a veterinary professional that you can trust and feel comfortable discussing your pet’s medical condition with is a valuable first step. In many cases a counselor who is used to dealing with issues of loss can be invaluable resource prior to the event in helping negotiate the emotions and human dynamics at play in reaching a decision.
There are a number of “quality of life “ assessment tools available online. Owners may find Dr. Alice Villalobos' Quality of Life Scale helpful.
These set out basic criteria enabling owners to gain some objectivity in assessment of their pet’s condition. These and “pain assessment scales” may give clarity to owners whose emotional bond may be clouding their ability to come to terms with their pet’s declining condition. The American Animal Hospital Association's guides for how to tell if your cat is in pain and how to tell if your dog is in pain may be helpful to pet owners.
Why Choose Euthanasia at Home?
A trip to the veterinary office can be stressful for both pet and owner at the best of times. When the time comes to say goodbye to your pet, being able to do so in the comfort of your own home can ensure a comfortable and peaceful transition for the entire family.
A home visit allows family members to discuss their concerns and decisions with the doctor in the calm and privacy of their home. Assessing a pet at home may highlight quality of life issues and owner limitations in caring for an ailing pet.
Fortunately, many veterinarians are recognizing the benefits to pets and owners of euthanasia at home and if they do not provide such a service they will refer their client to a veterinarian who does perform Home Euthanasia such as Pet Requiem.
Through phone calls, emails and visits, in-home veterinarians can be hand holders that and provide a peace of mind during the process.
It’s often the simple things that mean the most to pet owners such as an extra few moments spent alone with a pet or the offer to care for their deceased friend’s body by transporting it for burial or cremation. In the end, our final moments with our pets mean as much to us as losing any member of a family and it’s only right that we afford ourselves the moments to grieve and opportunity to say goodbye in the best and most peaceful way possible.
If you feel as though your pet may be suffering, call us to make an appointment for an evaluation and please visit Pet Requiem to learn more about how to know if it’s time to say goodbye.