Pet Loss – Knowing When It Is Time To Say Goodbye

Elvis Elvis

To many people their pet is more than just an animal; they are a companion, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a baby and often a reason to get up each day. But animals are shorter lived than humans and so you are often faced with the dilemma of what to do when your pet is coming to the end of it’s life. How do you say goodbye to someone who has been such a large part of your life? And when is enough, enough?

Most people would wish for their pet to pass away in their sleep, but unfortunately most animals do not go this way. The majority of animal deaths actually occur from things such as kidney failure, growths, strokes and heart attacks. As with humans, this is not a pleasant death and can cause much suffering to the pet and owner. Euthanasia in pets is a dignified and respectful way of stopping your pet’s pain and releasing them from a slow and terrible death. But for most the decision of euthanasia is a hard one, fraught with guilt at taking your beloved animal’s life. So when is the right time to say goodbye?

Pet Loss   Knowing When It Is Time To Say Goodbye

If your animal is reaching it’s end years and you are facing the thought of euthanasia here are a couple of
things to consider:

  • Is your pet in pain? It is unfair to make your pet suffer in pain just because you can’t say goodbye.
  • How is your pet’s quality of life? Has your pet stopped enjoying life? Can they no longer do the
    things they used to?
  • Is your pet still in there? One of my cats had a stroke and the animal that was left was no longer the character who I knew and loved.
  • Are you doing this for you or for your pet? Have they become a burden you are not prepared to face or is euthanasia the best option for them?

Deciding on euthanasia for your pet is never an easy decision and can leave you filled with guilt; did I leave it too long or did I take away some of the time that they had left to them? But being able to offer your pet an end to suffering and a dignified death through euthanasia is a blessing that many humans would wish for themselves.

I spent many years working as a Veterinary nurse and saw many people reaching the tough decision to say goodbye to their animals. It is never an easy choice, and I have had to make it myself, and can leave you with feelings of guilt and grief that are really hard to shake. Grieving for your pet is a natural reaction.