When is it time to make the decision to say goodbye? While no one can really say when that decision is most appropriate for you and your friend, here are a few factors that need to weigh into the decision:
While euthanizing a pet is certainly not a decision any of us want to make, many people are of the opinion that in certain situations of illness, it is the most humane thing we can do. It’s important to discuss your all options with your veterinarian. He or she is able to give you the best information about what your dog or cat is going through, the pain he/she might be experiencing, and your options at that particular time.
If against all your better wishes, you and your vet determine that it’s time to make that difficult decision, consider staying with your pet during the procedure. While it is a fairly painless procedure for the animal, more veterinarians now allow the owner to be with the pet during its final moments as it goes to sleep, so it does not pass away in completely unfamiliar surroundings.
The animal’s condition is incurable, and the animal is facing a very low quality of life. Sometimes a vet can medicate the pet to make it comfortable, but if the pet is facing a possible extended period of suffering, it might be time to talk to your vet about options.
You are unable to afford an extended period of medical care for the pet. If you don’t have the financial ability to make sure your pet gets the medical care it needs (and cannot find anyone who does have the ability), it may be inhumane to allow the pet to suffer. Again, discuss your options with your vet.
The pet’s age is a factor. A younger animal facing a serious health issue has a better chance of a full recovery than an older one—and putting an older animal through the rigors of a difficult treatment might not be advisable and could put the animal in unnecessary pain.
It is a choice none of us wants to make—but if you must make it, there is no dishonor in choosing to experience the pain of pet loss over making the animal go through continued pain. When it’s time to say goodbye to your pet, however it happens, remember to offer tribute to your friend for a life well-lived.
It’s a time all pet lovers dread: the moment when we must say goodbye to our beloved friend. Occasionally, something happens where we don’t really have the chance to say goodbye like we would like. Other times, though, especially in situations like sickness or old age, we are able to prepare better for that moment. And there are also times when saying goodbye to our pet is unfortunately not just a matter of natural death, but a matter of making a difficult decision.