When to Euthanize Your Pet
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Saying a final goodbye to a beloved pet who is suffering dearly can be a difficult thing to do, of course, but it can also bring about great comfort – both to the pet and owner. The question often arises, however, of when exactly euthanasia is an appropriate remedy for a pet’s suffering. Pet owners faced with this option often fear that they will second guess themselves, and, worse, they many times do, in fact, have regrets after a pet has been euthanized.
To help avoid that tragic pitfall of pet ownership, experts in several relevant fields offer some standard advice on when to euthanize your pet.
The main piece of advice that experts pass along is to think your decision about euthanasia through thoroughly before going through with it. Consult friends, family and, of course, veterinarians, and pay close attention to anyone who offers advice conflicting with your own ideas. It’s important that every effort be made to achieve a consensus about euthanasia among everyone in your family. This goal, of course, is not always practical, and in such cases, dissenting views should be strongly considered – at the very least.
With that basic advise in mind, here are a few things to consider before deciding upon euthanasia for your pet:
Is your pet in such pain that his or her good days appear to vastly outnumber the bad days? Are you in sufficient shape – mentally, physically, and financially – to continue caring for your pet if its current state continues indefinitely? What does your veterinarian predict for your pet’s future health? How confident is the doctor with that prediction? What do other animal experts say about your pet’s current health status and the chances of eventual recovery?
Many experts say that the answers to these questions will make the decision about when to euthanize your pet self evident. You will simply know when euthanasia is the right thing to do and will feel an inner peace with the decision. Getting down to more specifics about “when” you should euthanize your pet, experts highly recommend that you schedule your appointment for the procedure at a time when you will not feel rushed to return to a job or some other obligation.
Likewise, you should consult your veterinarian’s staff to get an appointment when a large number of other animals will not be in the offices’ waiting room. Upon request, some veterinarians will even travel to a pet owner’s home to conduct a euthanasia after-hours or on weekends. (This option is often more expensive than an in-office procedure, but it can be substantially less traumatic.)
Finally, experts caution that euthanasia procedure should not be scheduled until specifics of how the body will be disposed of have been fully considered and planned. Burial and cremation options should be fully explored, and arrangements should be put in place well before the pet arrives for the procedure. Likewise, specifics should be decided about who (if anyone besides the veterinarian and his or her staff) will be present during the procedure and what role each family member will play in any memorial activities planned.
So, the bottom line to deciding when to euthanize your pet is, simply, to think through the options carefully and make the decision that promises to bring about the most comfort.
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