The Most Difficult Decision: Knowing When to Say Goodbye to a Pet
Every night, he’s warmed the foot of your bed; each morning, he’s greeted you with a wagging tail and the leash, ready for another adventure…but for months now, things have been different. He no longer has the energy for those walks and often struggles with getting comfortable. He’s eating less. He’s spending more time alone…
Whether from the gradual progression of old age or from a sudden serious illness, there’s no greater turmoil in the heart of an owner when a pet is at the end of his or her life. This decision is among the toughest you will ever make, and it’s sometimes very hard to figure out when quality of life has been lost or the pain has become too great.
At Schertz Animal Hospital, we understand how hard this can be and want to help alleviate some of the burden when it’s time to say goodbye to a pet.
Courage, Love, and Kindness: Knowing When to Say Goodbye to a Pet
At the end of a pet’s life, many owners opt for the gentlest way to help their pets transition across the Rainbow Bridge. In most cases, humane euthanasia is the best option when an animal is suffering and is no longer able to enjoy the things they once did.
Still, how can you tell when it’s the right time?
Because pets are able to mask or hide pain, it can be challenging to know just how much pain and discomfort is experienced. Some of the following signs may help you determine when your pet is ready:
- Your pet is experiencing more bad days than good.
- Appetite or the ability to eat has diminished or stopped.
- Enjoyable activities can no longer be experienced (walks, pets, interactions with loved ones).
- Your pet is experiencing chronic pain and/or loss of mobility.
- Your pet can no longer self-groom, and hygiene has become a problem.
- Respiration is strained.
In some cases, hospice care might be the best option by providing assistance with feeding/nutrition, hydration, and other life supports.
Ultimately, it’s a deeply personal decision when to make the “call.” Many pet owners feel their pets are telling them that they’re ready to go by the look in their eyes and the loss of joy and bonding.
You’re Not Alone
When your pet is in his or her final days, it can help to consult with your veterinarian on hospice care, as well as to maintain ongoing veterinary care to gauge where your pet is in regards to pain and wellbeing. The team at Schertz wants you to feel supported throughout this process, and we can help answer any of your questions about end-of-life care and pet loss.
If you would like more information, please know that we are here for you.
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!