1. Speak to a Veterinarian
When we’re deciding the fate of our precious friends, it can be hard to be objective. At times like these, it’s crucial to seek an unbiased opinion, so we can make sure we’re making an informed choice. Maybe you’re trying to tell yourself that your dog isn’t suffering as much as they appear. Or maybe you think your dog is suffering more than they are. Maybe there is a form of treatment that will help your dog live well a little longer.
No one ever wants to pull the plug on their beloved companion too soon or prolong their suffering longer than needed. Speaking with a veterinarian can help to alleviate those types of concerns.
2. Loss of Faculties
Once your dog has lost the ability to enjoy the same quality of life they’re accustomed to, it may be time to humanely euthanize them.
This may include your dog becoming blind, deaf, immobile, unable to control their bowels, unable to eat, among other things. While some of these things are more severe than others, many dogs develop many of this items as they age. Maybe your blind or deaf dog is still able to get around pretty well, but then one day they are also unable to walk well or eat. Then your dog will suddenly be at a very high risk of injury that could become a much more painful way to go.
This involves making an honest assessment of your pet’s current quality of life. Do they seem happy to you? Are they able to run, play, and eat in the same manner that they’ve become accustomed to? If the answer to these questions is no, it’ may be time to spare them any additional suffering.
Ultimately, you’ll know your dog best and will have to decide if they’re still enjoying a good quality of life, or if they’re suffering more than they’re enjoying life.
3. Look Them in the Eyes
Pets are very different from humans, in the sense that they live in the moment. When a human isn’t feeling well or is beginning to suffer from a physical standpoint, they have the ability to reflect on the past and remember the good times.
A pet doesn’t have the benefit of this perspective. Look your dog in the eyes when you’re considering the possibility of euthanization. Your dog may be able to give you the answer you’re struggling to find yourself.
4. Weigh the Pros and Cons
A dog doesn’t have to be euthanized once their health shows the first signs of slippage. But it’s best to weigh the pros and cons.
Some diseases take a long time to really reflect their health. Make sure to talk with your vet so that you can understand the signs that things are getting worse and know what to expect as the condition progresses. They can set up the expectations ahead of time, and give you a little bit more time to process your emotions and ensure that your spending good quality time bonding with your dog in their last days.
If your dog is starting to have many bad days, the time has come to keep track. Over the course of a month or a few weeks, take a moment to mark down whether your dog is having a good day or a bad one. If the bad ones outnumber the good ones, this could be a sign that your dog’s ready to be euthanized.