The end of a pet’s life can be very difficult. Choosing whether or not to euthanize a sick pet is a very personal decision. If you are faced with this unfortunate situation, we strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian, family and friends about the decision.
A few questions to ask yourself:
How does the sickness affect the quality of your pet's life? How do we define quality of life? Can the dog or cat still be a dog/cat? Will treatments and supplements prolong the quality of life?
How many people are affected by the illness and possible death of the pet? If it is just you and your pet, then the decision might be easier. But if there are other family members involved in the pet's life, then their feelings and wishes need to be considered.
Though the Humane Society of Bay County cannot make recommendations regarding euthanasia for ill animals, we can provide you with resources that may help you during this difficult time:
ASPCA Counseling Services can provide information and guidance for pet owners facing the death of a pet, including emotional support, preparing for euthanasia and advice on communicating with children about pet loss. You can speak with someone from ASPCA Counseling Services by utilizing their free Pet Loss Hotline:
ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline
The ASPCA has a program to support pet parents with the following issues:
Assistance with the decision to euthanize.
Comfort and support at the time of euthanasia.
Help with grieving the loss.
Advice on dealing with children, the elderly or disabled individuals who are facing a death of a companion animal.
Helping the surviving animals in the household to cope.
Assistance in establishing a relationship with a new pet.
For support dealing with the loss of a pet, including information on meeting the emotional needs of children at the time of a pet's death, please call the ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline at (877) GRIEF-10.
Link to the page: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-loss/ for an extensive collection of articles on pet loss.
Animals teach us unconditional love, loyalty, kindness, and a host of other wonderful things. They make us better people. After a period of mourning and remembering the old days, think about adding a new animal to the family. You and your family will see that life goes on and that it is possible to love again.