Making the decision to put a pet to sleep is the hardest decision a pet owner can have to make. Sometimes it is an obvious and quick choice, such as an automobile accident or other sudden injuries. While other times, it is a harder decision as with pets that live into old age or have a slow illness. But due to the short and sweet life span of an animal, it is most likely a decision on when euthanizing a pet is best above prolonging life. It is a decision all animal parents will have to make at some point 🙁
Unlike humans, animals can’t tell us when they are suffering. Some pets might whine while others will lay around lethargic. Other animals might act differently or eat less, so it is up to us to pay attention to when our pets are suffering. We must also not use excuses to not act upon our pet’s suffering, such as “they will get better”, or “I’ll take them to the vet next week.” If we were ill, we would act upon it right away, and we should respect our animals in the same way.
Contact a Vet
A good source of information on knowing when euthanizing a pet is best or not is a quality vet. Ask a vet what they think is the right choice. They are able to be removed enough from the emotions of the situation; and just like a human doctor, they are the experts on the animal’s health. They can explain how an animal might be suffering, or how much longer the animal has to live. A vet can tell us if we are only prolonging the suffering for our own desire to not deal with the loss of the beloved pet. They can also give us a good idea of how much longer the animal has so that we can enjoy the last precious amount of quality time with our pet.
A person should not own a pet if they can’t afford to take proper care of the animal, but that is not always the case. Sometimes people lose income and have to make hard decisions; sometimes people get pets they can’t afford through other methods such as relatives dropping them off. As such, finances do play a role in deciding when an animal should be put down. For example, in the case of cancer; chemotherapy can be expensive and drawn out, and the animal might not live through it anyway. Is it better to spend the money or put the animal down?
In The End
It is important to remember that our animals feel pain. Even though they might not show they are suffering when they are, they should still be considered when making decisions about the end of their lives. As humans, we can tell others how we feel, we can make DNR decisions, and even in some states, we have the right to choose euthanasia. Pets, however, cannot tell us what they want, so we need to be responsible, considerate owners and make the best decisions as to how to deal with the end of their lives.