When Is It Appropriate To Bid Farewell?
This is the most challenging choice that a person who owns a pet can face. When the time comes for you to say goodbye to your pet, you will need to take into consideration their quality of life at that point in their life. It causes me great discomfort to write about it, but it is a question that I am frequently posed, and it is frequently muttered to me in private. Whether your pet is old or suffering from something that has significantly changed the quality of life that he or she is able to enjoy, there will come a time when you will have to decide whether or not to let your pet cross over to the other side.
Always keep in mind the things you can do to ensure that your pet leads a decent and comfortable life thanks to your assistance. Will the use of any treatments or additional veterinary care help to lengthen their lives and preserve the quality of your time spent with them? What other options do we have? How does the short-term outlook compare to the long-term outlook?
If prolonged treatments are extending the amount of time your pet can live, is this increasing the quantity of life rather than the quality of life that is required? Are there more bad days than good ones in your life? Are there more days filled with suffering than with joy? How long is the length of time that you can expect this treatment to keep your pet alive? How can one determine when they have had enough?
If you are trying to be as objective as possible, you might wonder why the person in question is still living on this earth in spite of the difficulties they face. Is the reason that your pet is still living with you because he or she voluntarily chooses to do so, or is it because you have chosen to keep the animal here for your own personal reasons? Examine the lifestyle that your pet is currently leading, keeping in mind that you have witnessed them leading a full and healthy life in the past.
Keeping an eye out for the following indicators can help you make decisions that are best for you:
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargic and reclusive behavior
- Outward signs of pain when touched
- Inability to be comfortable or constantly restless
- Inability to walk without assistance
- Inability to enjoy things previously enjoyed
Although your veterinarian will not be able to tell you when it is time to say goodbye to your beloved pet, they will be able to provide you with sound advice as you contemplate the future of your animal companion. Whenever I’ve been forced to make a decision that was challenging, my veterinarian has always helped me keep the importance of life in perspective. “Compare the amount of life the animal is living now to the quality of life it has led in the past.” In the end, it doesn’t really matter how long your pet lives; what’s more important is figuring out how well your pet is living. One piece of advice that I have been given and that I have filed away in the back of my mind is that you should select three activities that your pet enjoyed doing, and when they were unable to participate in at least two of those activities, it was time to consider euthanasia for them.
This challenging decision will always cause deep soul searching, particularly if the two of you have spent a great deal of time together in the past. Despite the fact that letting go of a pet is one of life’s most difficult challenges, it is often the most selfless and loving thing we can do for them when they are no longer with us.