Making the decision to euthanize your geriatric or ailing pet is probably one of the toughest choices we as owners have to make. Unfortunately, at some point many of us are forced to make this choice, simply out of love for our friend. Euthanization, or “putting a pet to sleep,” as many of us say, is truly an act of kindness when a pet is suffering or not enjoying a good quality of life.
My job as a veterinarian (and fellow animal lover) is to help you in your decision by providing the best medical information I can about your pet, and then, when it is time, to make the process of saying good bye as easy as possible by providing your pet a gentle exit from this world. I am always happy to talk with you about your choices, and may guide you to other sources of information if I think they may be helpful to you.
People always ask: How will I know it is time? While this is a very personal decision, there are a number of indicators that you can use to help you know when it is time to help your pet pass away. You can find some answers to commonly asked questions on the following pages, and you are always welcome to call us to discuss your specific concerns. This is a difficult choice, but in the end, you know your pet best, so consult with your friends, family, and with us if you need additional help, and then believe in your ability to make the best choice for your pet. Remember, setting your pet free with dignity and comfort is an act of kindness and courage.
Once your decision is made, try not to second guess yourself, but rather spend your energy cherishing the time you do have and remembering all of the good times you have shared. If you are like most of the people I have met, you are making your choice out of love.