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Time to say goodbye: When it's time to consider euthanasia for your pet

While this pup is in his prime, there will come a time when his owner will have to make a life altering decision
While this pup is in his prime, there will come a time when his owner will have to make a life altering decision
Photo by Richard Heathcote

As pets age or become ill, owners have to decide if/when it’s time for euthanasia. This is a hard decision to make as owners may think it’s too soon, too late, or maybe they just don’t feel euthanasia is right. While many people think it best to let pets die naturally, it can often cause a pet a lot of unnecessary pain. So how does an owner know when it’s time to say goodbye to a pet?

Is The Pet Enjoying Life?

PetMD says to think about three or four things the pet has always enjoyed. A few examples include fetch, playing with a laser pointer, or maybe it is just the pet’s love for a specific toy. Has the pet’s feelings toward these activities changed? Another question to ask is, are they able to take part in those activities?

The next assessment to make deals with appetite. Is the pet still eating? Are their bodily functions still easy for them to make? Do they have control of their bodily functions? If they answer is no to these questions and there is no cure for the pet’s ailment, PetMD says it might be time to consider euthanasia.

Ask the Vet

Always ask a vet before deciding to euthanize a pet. Don’t be afraid to get multiple opinions. Find out if there are treatment options and learn about the pros and cons to each option. When considering the treatment options, put yourself in the pet’s paws. PetMD suggests asking yourself if you would want to have this therapy or operation. PetMD also suggest to consider the pain that will go along with the treatment options.

Saying Goodbye

It is important not to put a time limit on your grief. Losing a pet, for many, is like losing a family member. The amount of time it takes to grieve the loss of a pet is different for everyone. Even if you felt confident that euthanasia was the right choice for your pet, it may still cause you great pain. It’s okay to grieve the loss of a pet; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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