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Choosing to get a pet is one of the easiest decisions to make. But having to make the decision of euthanizing your four-legged friend is one of the hardest. In fact, very few things come close to this experience.
When you first got your dog or cat home, you had no idea your life was going to change. Animals shower us with so much love and affection, no human can come close. They have always stuck by your side, made you laugh, and lent a paw during your tough times. Now, after all these memorable years, you’re faced with one of the toughest decisions of your life.
Making That Final Choice
Whether you’ve been given a terrible diagnosis by the vet or your pet has reached its painful twilight years, making the decision to humanely end your dog or cat’s life is not an easy one. Most people start to question if they even have the right to make this decision. Do you even have the right to decide if another living being should no longer continue living?
When you got your cat or dog, you made a vow to yourself and your pet that you will always look after him or her. They become like your child, almost wholly dependant on you for their well-being. This doesn’t necessarily give you the right, but it does give you the responsibility of making the right decision when time comes.
So, When Is It Time For Goodbyes?
There is no easy way to decide when your pet has to be put to sleep, but there are certain criteria that can help you gain some clarity. Some people choose to have their pets euthanized due to behavioral problems, such as uncontrolled aggression. While cats do not typically attack unless approached, dogs can become extremely violent and harm their owners.
While a majority of these behavioral problems can be managed, there are some situations where euthanasia becomes the necessary choice. It is important that pet owners consult with veterinarians, animal behaviorists, and training professionals before they resort to put their pet to sleep.
Another criteria involves the decline in the pet’s health and quality of life. If your pet is enduring a painful injury or prolonged illness, then you may have to resort to euthanizing it to alleviate its suffering. A severe injury or terminal illness will definitely cause your pet’s life to deteriorate. If your companion fails to show any improvement or response to treatment, then you should discuss available options with the veterinarian.
The final criteria is old age. If the vet concludes that your pet’s health will only drastically deteriorate with age, then you have to consider other options besides offering supportive care.
It is impossible to describe how it feels to say goodbye to your most trusted friend, but some people have to make this difficult decision by themselves. Understand that even though it is heartbreaking, euthanasia is humane and, in most cases, the best thing for your friend.