Euthanasia is by far the most difficult decision that any pet’s human faces. When you love your furry companion, there really isn’t anything that anyone can say that makes the idea of putting your friend to sleep any easier. However, there are just some times that it really is the only humane option.
The act of putting an animal to sleep should be a loving and gently move that is loaded with kindness and compassion. The only humane method of putting an animal to sleep can only be performed by a qualified veterinarian.
In all honesty, putting your pet to sleep does not need to be a forum of self determined values or any type of statement regarding right to life issues. While often our feelings about people vary from our feelings about pets, euthanasia is really only about one pet; yours. Doing what is best for your pet, your family, and the situation you find yourself in is a private matter. Some individuals find the process of putting their beloved pet to sleep about as peaceful as death can possibly be. And in reality, it is the most peaceful option for most animals that are suffering or have been battling a long term illness or disability.
The number one statement of concern that most pet lovers who are considering having their honored pet put to sleep is that they need to feel sure that it is the right time. Nobody wants their pet to suffer needlessly. At the same time, nobody wants to rob their pet of possible active and tolerable months or even years. While this is a very difficult time for all pet owners, the absolute greatest piece of advice I have ever heard regarding the timing of putting a pet down was relatively simple but carried the weight of a thousand elephants; look into his eyes and trust your heart. While it certainly doesn’t seem very scientific or medically sound, people who have a significant bond with their pet are able to understand when the ‘light’ in his eyes has deteriorated too far.
In some cases, your pet will tell you it’s time. He will start to separate himself from you. If he has spent nearly every night sleeping beside, or in, your bed and he seeks out places that resemble a cave on what seems like a whim, he may be preparing himself for death. Pack animals in particular have been known to separate themselves from the pack in order to prevent the strong from becoming injured while protecting the weak.
It is natural to look for signs of health and see them even when they are not there. I watched my neighbor carry around her Dalmatian for nearly six months, insisting that he was going to pull through while she chronically fed him pain killers. We could hear him at night crying out in pain for hours on end, and yet she was still sure he wasn’t ready. Maybe she was right, even when he urinated on himself because he couldn’t get up to go to the door. But it’s not uncommon for the human to be much less ready than the animal. it’s normal. It is an act of love to opt for a peaceful death. And it’s a very difficult act to follow through on. Another neighbor of ours made the appointment six times before he was finally able to take the dog in. This can be part of the process for some people.
You are not obligated to witness your pet’s euthanasia. While it is a simple and quite, even peaceful procedure, there is no shame in keeping his memory as he was in life. Some people feel as though they are betraying their pet by not following through to the end, and it simply doesn’t have to be that way. If you opt not to go in with your pet, the veterinary staff will be able to offer your dog or cat absolutely everything he or she will need. There is no shame and there is no guilt necessary.
Children often have a very difficult time understanding the process and the reasons for the procedure. They also have a fear that you might do the same thing to them should they become ill. While children may be seriously affected by euthanizing a pet, don’t overlook the fact that the vast majority of adults are as well. Just because you are a grown up doesn’t mean that your feelings about the situation aren’t completely and totally warranted. It is important to express your grief, and to go through the grieving process as you would with any other loved one who has passed away. Although you have nothing to feel guilty about, you may be harboring feelings of guilt as well. it’s important to deal with these. Losing something as sweet and innocent as a pet and carry feelings of guilt because of that loss can have a dramatic affect on your ability to love the innocent again. The human mind is seriously complicated and vastly deep. don’t be afraid to talk to someone you trust about the affect euthanizing your pet has had on you and your family.
Euthanasia has become a commonplace method of painlessly allowing our ill and ailing pets to pass on. While there will always be protestors to every event that might make us question our motives, if you feel you made the right decision then the nay sayers of the world should not be able to impact that. There is no value in taking on someone else’s mission as your own guilt.
As human beings with other responsibilities and bouts of misfortune, euthanasia is sometimes used as an alternative treatment option for a pet who has been diagnosed with a life threatening or terminal disease that will cost a great deal of money to treat. These decisions are often the most difficult, because it can be difficult to justify either action. If you spend money you don’t have trying to treat your pet’s cancer but your children desperately need some new shoes, how are you supposed to justify that? At the same time, how does one justify not treating a pet for a disease because it costs too much? One of the best protections against this scenario is the purchase of a pet insurance policy. For a nominal fee, you can have the majority of your pet’s health care expenses reimbursed to you. While pet insurance policies are not a guarantee that you won’t find yourself in a situation where euthanasia is a clear and present probability, it can help ease the burden of being forced into a decision that is not in the best interest of either your family or your pet.