When Is the Right Time to Euthanize Your Pet? 6 Determining Factors

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If you are a pet owner whose pet is getting old, then euthanasia is likely something that you will be familiar with. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of euthanasia but your pet’s veterinarian has recommended it, then it is intentionally ending an animal’s life to relieve their pain and suffering. The act of euthanasia is completely painless, so if you are considering it, you don’t need to worry about your pet’s suffering. After the operation has been performed, your pet will either be released to you, or your veterinarian can arrange cremation.

If you are considering having your pet euthanized, then go through this post’s checklist and consider each factor individually first.

Veterinarian Advice

Veterinarians are experts in animals. If your pet’s usual veterinarian has advised that you euthanize your pet, then it’s probably a good idea to do so. Veterinarians won’t offer advice on euthanizing your pet unless they are confident that it’s in your pet’s best interests to do so. In order to euthanize your pet, you need to make sure that you take them to an expert veterinary doctor, who has experience in it. It’s probably best to take your pet to their usual veterinarian, although if you are away from home or can’t make it in, then you can hire another. Alternatively, you can hire an independent veterinarian who will be able to come and perform euthanasia in your pet’s home.  

Mobility Issues

If your pet has started to suffer from mobility issues due to old age or disease, then this is another reason that you might want to have them euthanized. Animals aren’t like humans and therefore don’t have the capacity for reasoning. When humans are unable to move around, they can rationalize this and find some comfort in other activities. This isn’t the case for pets, whose lives can be ruined by being unable to move around freely. It is important that you have your pet’s mobility issues investigated before you ask for them to be euthanized.

Advanced Disease

If your pet has been diagnosed with a disease and it is very advanced, then euthanasia is a good idea. A lot of people refuse to euthanize their pets because they cherish them and love them. Unfortunately, this is a selfish act. Ultimately, pets don’t have the capacity for reasoning or understanding their condition, they just feel. If they have advanced disease, then all they feel is pain. Your pet’s regular veterinarian will likely discuss your options with you when they diagnose your pet’s disease. One of these options will more often than not be euthanasia. If you have exhausted all treatment options, then euthanasia is all that’s left.

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Old Age

Another reason to have your pet euthanized is if they are extremely old. When animals get old, they tend to deteriorate very rapidly. It can be very cruel to keep an old animal alive just so that you have your pet with you for a few more months or years. When an animal gets old, their senses tend to fail them, and they usually go blind or lose their hearing. With that said, if your pet is in relatively good health and doesn’t show any signs of deterioration, then there’s no reason to euthanize them.

Night-time Whining

A sign that your pet is in pain or is suffering from some kind of disease is if they whine at night. People with especially old pets will be familiar with this. The most common reason that old pets whine at night is either because they forget where they are or because they cannot hear or see. The type of whining that your pet does depends largely upon what sort of animal they are. If they are a dog, they might bark, while if they are a cat, they might meow. If you notice this behavior, it’s important to take your pet to their veterinarian to discover what’s going on.

Life Quality

Lastly, if your pet has a disease or is old and you are concerned that their quality of life is being significantly impacted, then you should euthanize them. As already mentioned, it’s cruel to keep your pet alive just because you personally can’t let go. Your pet’s quality of life is much more important than your feelings. If at any point you become concerned that your pet is suffering, then you should take them to their veterinarian and you should discuss the available options with them.

If you are concerned that your pet’s quality of life is being impacted by the disease, illness, or old age, then you need to consider euthanasia. Euthanasia is completely painless, meaning your pet won’t suffer. It is the most humane option in many situations.

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