As a veterinarian, I am often asked this question; however, I can’t make this final decision for any pet owner. Instead, I focus on the medical issues and facts, so the owner will have the knowledge to help make an informed decision. Our dialogue may include discussing the possible outcomes of terminal disease or discussing financial considerations . Even so, the answer is not always obvious! Therefore, I offer this thought: it is probably “time” when the bad, painful days begin to outnumber the good ones. Pet owners usually have an idea of what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in the life of their pet. Sometimes, pet euthanasia can be a blessing.
Here are some things to consider when evaluating your pet’s quality of life in consideration of pet euthanasia:
- Does your pet soil him/her self during the day? This can really be a stressor for some pets who prefer to be clean, and it can also pose health risks – i.e. skin rashes and infections from sitting in urine and/or feces.
- Does your pet still enjoy “basic activities” such as eating? Is the appetite normal?
- Does your pet enjoy human interaction? Is s/he still cognizant of who you are?
- Can your pet move around without difficulty or pain?
After pet euthanasia, don’t second guess yourself or your decision. Oftentimes, owners replay in their mind what they “should” or “should not” have done. Their friends tell them what to do! The pet store gives their opinion. Finally, the on-line experts give their credible advice. All of this extra advice from the so-called experts just muddies your mind and makes you second guess yourself. Trust in your veterinarian’s recommendation. Remember, they do this all the time! Also, remember other people don’t always know your pet or your particular situation like you!