The decision to euthanize a pet is for most owners a difficult choice. Consultation with your veterinarian will help you make the right choice. Some pet owners are unable to cope with the daily care of an ill pet. The tasks around the care, cleaning, feeding, and expense can build resentment towards the pet and would rob them of happy memories. Some pets are euthanized because of behaviour problems such as aggression and barking. Rather than consult their veterinarian or an animal behaviorist, the owner opts for an easy out. They are focusing on the possibility of law suits or eviction rather than the love for their pet.
Healthy dogs are also euthanized because the owners housing situation has changed. The owner finds that they are moving to an apartment where no pets are allowed. Rather than consulting their veterinarian or a pet placement service the owner opts for euthanasia. They either do not feel they can trust someone else to love their pet, have a distrust of the pet placement services, or do not want the expense and trouble of finding someone to adopt their pet.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Quality of life, not quantity.” When a dog becomes old, or ill, or is in pain, it may be the best and kindest thing to let the pet go in peace and with dignity. Your veterinarian should always be consulted before and during this decision. He/she will know when the time is right for you and your pet so than neither your nor your pet will suffer excessively physically or emotionally.
The act of euthanasia is never as bad as we fantasize. We can choose to be present or not during the actual euthanasia. The shot is painless and many veterinarians will tranquilize the pet before hand as many pets will react to the nervousness of their owners and react likewise. Being with your pet gives you a chance to say your final good-byes and put closure to your relationship. If grief seems unbearable ask your veterinarian for some brochures dealing with loss of pets. Be assured that if you have been consulting your veterinarian all along during your pets life and illness, that you have now made a wise, informative, and correct decision. Be at ease and turn your thoughts to happy memories.
Terrie Simpson has been involved in the dog world for over 28 years and has achieved numerous awards with her Springer Spaniels in tracking and obedience. Over that time, she has amassed a good amount of knowledge about how to keep a dog healthy. She is now happy to give back by sharing her experience with other dog owners.