Deciding to euthanize your faithful friend and companion is always difficult and heartbreaking. However, it is a decision that most pet lovers will have to face at some point in a lifetime. As we outlive our canine and feline companions, we are likely to have to make this decision, and too often more than once.
One of the most common things I have discussed with pet parents concerning end-of-life issues is how to determine what the ‘right’ time is. Most people, loving their pets very much, are concerned that they will be selfish and wait too long. Others are worried they will elect to have it done too soon. Let me assure you that most often there is no perfect moment in time that you need to identify. When you begin to consider that it might be time, you should evaluate your pet’s quality of life on a daily basis, and discuss your concerns with your family and veterinarian. If your companion still has an appetite, enjoys your company, is somewhat mobile and not in considerable pain, you may find it worthwhile to give them more time. If they begin to have more bad days than good ones, you may need to seriously consider their final health care needs and getting yourself in a mindset that allows you to let them go. I will be available for hospice-type counseling in-home concerning this difficult decision should you feel the need to discuss your pet’s care further with me.