Knowing When It's time to say goodbye
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" - Dr. Seuss
How do I know when to say goodbye to my pet?
There's no question-deciding to put a pet down is absolutely the most difficult decision that most pet parents will ever make. If you've done this before, you can agree that putting a pet down never, ever gets easier. If this is your first time navigating pet euthanasia, you may be struggling to find resources. You may have been told that you will just "know when it's time".
Answering these questions about your pet may help guide you on deciding whether your pet is in need of hospice care or euthanasia:
1. IS YOUR PET ABLE TO WALK, EAT AND REST COMFORTABLY?
2. IS YOUR PET EATING AND DRINKING well without assistance?
3. LIST YOUR PETS TOP 5 FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN LIFE (PLAY WITH TOYS, FETCH BALL, GO FOR WALKS, EAT, SLEEP, CUDDLE, RIDE IN THE CAR, COME TO WORK WITH YOU, VISIT FAMILY ETC). IS YOUR PET STILL ABLE TO DO THESE THINGS EASILY AND COMFORTABLY?
4. DOES YOUR PET STILL ENJOY GETTING AFFECTION (BEING PET, CUDDLING, SNUGGLING ETC)?
5. DOES YOUR PET SEEK OUT AFFECTION?
6. DOES EACH DAY/WEEK SEEM TO GET BETTER OR WORSE FOR YOUR PET?
7. WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SWITCH PLACES WITH YOUR PET?
8. ON A SCALE OF 1-10, WITH 1 BEING POOR AND 10 BEING GOOD, WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS YOUR PETS QUALITY OF LIFE RIGHT NOW?
IF YOU FEEL YOUR PET'S QUALITY OF LIFE IS A CONCERN OR YOU NEED MORE GUIDANCE IN ASSESSING YOUR PET'S QUALITY OF LIFE, PLEASE SCHEDULE A HOSPICE HOME CONSULT OR PHONE CONSULT.
How do I begin to plan to say goodbye to my pet?
Making a "bucket list" can be a good way to start with planning a pet’s farewell. This can include things like :
We never know exactly how much time we have with our loves ones. We may have a few days or a few weeks together. Although your loved one may be declining, I encourage you to fill those final days and weeks with love and positive memories if possible. Saying goodbye on a good day may seem difficult, but I would much rather say goodbye a week early on a good day than say goodbye an hour too late on a bad day when suffering has set in and the ability for a comfortable or peaceful goodbye is not achievable anymore.