How Do You Know When It’s Time to Say Goodbye to a Pet? | Vet Advice

There's one question I get a lot and

people tend to call me and ask me

when's the right time to euthanize their

pet? Particularly when they're sick or

they're older and their quality of life

is declining and what's most important

to me is that when people are calling me

it usually means that they think it's

the right time and I actually just

listen to them. It's not the

veterinarian's job to tell you, you live

with your pet so you're the one who's

going to decide ultimately what your

pet's life is like at that time and what

you really need to focus on is its

quality of life not its quantity of life.

So you want to make a decision at a time

when they're still comfortable you don't

want to wait to the point that they're

really in pain, that will be an easy

decision at that point but you never

want to have to wait that long.

You should look at every day and decide

a pet that's happy and has a good

quality of life, they interact with you,

they eat wel,l they take enjoyment about

going outside.

You look at that day and you say is that

a good day or is that a bad day? If they

do all those things that's a good day,

even write it in a calendar and if they

don't that's a bad day and you take a

look at those and you say when the bad

days come more often than the good days,

that's where you know that quality of

life is waning and that you have to

start to really consider that aspect.

Hopefully you're in a position where

that dog or cat has lived a very long

life and you've got to remember that

you've taken good care of this animal

for its life. The most important thing is,

is that you're going to have to pick the

time and the place for something like

this to happen. It's supposed to be a

natural event but you're going to pick

the time and the place for it to take

place and that means you're going to be

the designer of it and what that does is it

will make you feel guilty.

It's very important that you don't do

that. You've taken care of this animal

for its life and it should be a time

where you say goodbye and that evening

would be the best time to try to

celebrate its life to not wrap up that

decision and make it represent the

lifetime of your relationship with your

pet. The other things to consider as well

as you definitely want to work with your

veterinarian addressing those issues of

quality of life as best you can before

you come up on that decision. Have a good

conversation with your veterinarian

about how that final stage or decision

is going to take place and how that's

gonna go.

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