Knowing when to let go
Pets quickly become a part of the family, and the thought of saying goodbye to them can be heart-wrenching. Euthanizing your furry friend is not something that anyone wants to even think about, but sometimes it is necessary to stop them from suffering further.
Before starting the process, there are many things as a pet owner you will need to think about, including how much you love them. You will need to think about their existence and how happy or sad it is for them. If they are constantly in pain and have a limited quality of life it may be the most humane thing to let them go peacefully.
One of the most selfless things a pet owner can do is to think of their pet when they are suffering or are set to suffer further in the future. It has to be the pet owner’s decision and should be done with their pet’s quality of life in mind, rather than their own attachment. If your pet has been diagnosed as being terminally ill, you will need to ask your vet what to expect. Think about whether you can afford treatments that will be needed to keep your pet comfortable towards the end of their life. If you cannot afford to keep them comfortable when this time comes, it may be a better option for your beloved pet to say goodbye to them before it gets to that point.
If your pet has lost his/her appetite then the chances are they are already unhappy and close to the end of their life. Body function loss is also a sign that their quality of life is poor. If they are no longer interested in the things that used to make them happy, or cannot stand or walk unaided, they are likely to be depressed and waiting for the end to come. Look at the available treatments, if any, and think about whether or not their quality of life will improve, not or if the inevitable is simply being prolonged with additional pain and suffering.
Although some animals will pass peacefully with no suffering, it is more likely that a pet may have had weeks or months of discomfort and they have not been enjoying life for a period of time before they pass on their own. Once it gets to this point, it can be the kindest decision to let them go rather than to let them suffer unnecessarily.
Signs to look for
Your pet's behavior could lead you to consider if you need to make a decision as to whether euthanasia is the right option at this time. The bond you have with your pet may make it difficult to see how diminished your pets quality of life has become. Getting support from those close to you can help you to make the right decision, but in the end, decision must be yours based on how your pet is feeling. If you are not sure if the decision is right for you, then it’s time to get a second opinion to clarify your choice.
How to come to terms with your decision
Once you have seen that your pet's quality of life has been depleted and constantly declining, you know that you have the power to stop the suffering. You will have to look at euthanasia as the last act of mercy and a way to alleviate further pain and suffering. Your vet can help you come to terms with the decision if you just don’t know what to do. They will be able to tell you whether or not your pet is suffering.