Making the decision to euthanize a pet is often harder than dealing with the loss itself.  Many     people say they can accept the death and the accompanying sadness, but have great difficulty     with being the one who must decide  when death will occur.  

    As you face  the painful decision about euthanizing  your pet, let the following  questions serve as     your guide:

  •  Is there a reasonable chance for a cure? for comfort?   
  • How much additional time might treatment give?  
  • What will the quality of that time be?
  •  Do I have the financial and emotional resources to handle long-term medical care if it is  required?  
  •  Will I have the necessary  physical and emotional stamina to attend to my pet's need?  (Getting up at night.  Preparing special foods.  Giving shots.)
  •  Is our relationship changing or decreasing in quality as I anticipate this loss?
  •  How many of my pet's usual activities are still  possible?
  •  Is my pet suffering, even though physical pain is not evident?                     


Saying Goodbye

 What is euthanasia?

 Euthanasia is the humane ending of life.  It is not painful to the pet and the pet has no knowledge it is going to happen.  Pets

 pick up on our moods so sometimes anxiety can occur, especially when everyone is crying.   Once the decision is reached, other decisions  need to be made.  

  • Should children be present?  Only you can decide if your children are mature enough to understand the process.
  •  If you have other pets, do you want them to be able to sniff the body afterward?  
  • Some housemates are very close and sniffing the body may help give them closure.
  •  How would you prefer the remains to be  cared for?  Is home burial possible, or would cremation be preferred?  If cremation

             is chosen, do you want the ashes returned?

 What Determines a Good Quality of Life for My Pet?

  • Does your pet seem irritable, restless or confused?
  • Has he lost his appetite or does he drink water excessively?
  • Does he avoid his favorite activities?
  • Is your pet picked on by other animals in the home? This can happen when a sick or elderly dog becomes the weakest member of the “pack.”
  • Does he seek out unusual places to sleep or hide?
  • Does your pet express joy and interest?


help me decide

Understanding the Personal Response to Grief

In the course of our lifetime, each of us develops relationships with others which take on special meaning to us. They may be parents, other family members, friends, teachers, even our pets. These are the people who in a variety of ways through nurturing and challenging us help us become who we are. Over the course of our life, each of us also experiences the death of someone we love. Whether this loss occurs as a result of illness, accident, or other trauma, we are left with a mixture of thoughts and feelings. We deeply sense their absence. The following suggestions are offered to assist us in understanding the constructive process of grief and the importance of remembering our loved one.


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