Letting go of a pet when they’ve reached the end of their lifespan is incredibly difficult, and it’s even more challenging to determine how to make that decision. At Andover Animal Hospital, we strive to inform and support you and your family through this painful time. Although you may not think you can tell when it’s time to let your pet go, a few indicators can help you evaluate your beloved companion’s quality of life.
#1: Your pet no longer shows interest in their favorite activities
Although your pet’s body may hold them back from a rousing game of fetch or scaling their climbing tower, they may still be interested in other activities. However, if your pet appears to be depressed and fails to show interest in any activities, they likely are no longer enjoying their life.
#2: Your pet refuses to eat or drink
Encouraging an ill pet to eat and drink can be challenging even with appetite stimulants and diet changes. And, while feeding tubes and fluid therapy can help, they’re not long-term options.
#3: Your pet does not enjoy interacting with the family
Pets are meant to be family companions, and they typically enjoy the interaction. But, if your pet is shunning any contact and appears withdrawn, consider their quality of life.
#4: Your pet is incontinent or needs assistance eliminating
Fecal and urinary incontinence are challenging to manage in a large dog and can create hygiene issues in any size pet. Some pets may even need their bladder expressed, which is a serious commitment on the pet owner’s part.
#5: Your pet is in pain or unable to move without help
Medications and alternative therapies can go a long way toward making your pet comfortable and mobile, but they have limits. If your pet is still in pain or can no longer move around for daily activities despite medication or other therapies, it may be time to let them go.
The team at Andover Animal Hospital knows that there is no time more difficult than saying goodbye to a loved one. Let our team support you and your pet through their final days. If you’re unsure of your decision to euthanize your pet, our veterinary staff can help perform an assessment to assist you in this most difficult decision.