As animal lovers, we don’t like to think about the day when we will have to say goodbye to our beloved pets. We hope that when the time does come, it will be a peaceful passing at the end of a long and happy life.
Sadly, as many of us know all too well, sometimes this is not to be. Sometimes our faithful companions become ill or are injured, and we may have to face some very difficult decisions in order to prevent them suffering prolonged pain.
Euthanasia (sometimes referred to as ‘putting to sleep’) describes a deliberate intervention undertaken to end pain or suffering. Discussions with your vet will undoubtedly be emotional; your overriding desire to ‘do the right thing’ will almost certainly be clouded by feelings of guilt, sadness and frustration. If you are currently thinking about ending your pet’s suffering, or indeed when the time comes in the future, you can find some helpful questions and issues to consider HERE. These end-of-life considerations are laid out sensitively yet practically, in order to offer some small reassurance and support as you consider all the options available.
Accepting when is the ‘right’ time can often be the hardest part.
You may find it helpful to consider:
- Is your pet is still enjoying life? Does he/she seem happy?
- Is the overall quality of life still acceptable? Think about:
- Evidence of discomfort
- Appetite levels
- Urinary or faecal incontinence
- Mental capacity and confusion
- Ease of breathing – is it a real effort for your pet?
- What is the prognosis associated with any illnesses diagnosed?
- Are treatment options available? How aggressive, invasive or uncomfortable are they likely to be?
Ultimately, helping our pets to a dignified and peaceful end is the most important and noble act we can undertake for our faithful companions. However, the decision is particularly painful because in order to end a pet’s suffering, we must unselfishly and lovingly choose to accept our own.
See The Ralph Site for more information on pet loss.
Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.