Caring for an aging pet is both a blessing and a challenge rolled into one.
First, it is an honor to have a pet reach their senior years in your care. That means you’ve done a great job.
On the other hand, it can be full of challenges as you balance medications, treatments, vet appointments, or costly procedures.
Whatever your situation is the day will likely come when you are faced with that impossible decision…
Some say we should not end our pet’s lives. That we should let Mother Nature take its course.
Others say it is our responsibility to keep our beloved pets from suffering in a body that is failing.
Personally, I choose to help my pets leave their bodies when they are no longer able to enjoy their life. I base this on experiences in the past but also on what the animals have shared with me over the years.
Dying is usually a painful process. There is a struggle involved in most situations. The will to survive runs deep so animals will struggle to stay alive. It is their natural instinct.
In certain instances, such as a massive heart attack, the soul leaves the body and there is not much if any type of struggle.
Some pets will die peacefully in their sleep. I’ve always wished that for mine but it has yet to happen.
I’m not here to judge your decision but keep in mind the following…
1. When you stress, worry, or have anxiety about your pet they sense that and they can be adversely affected
2. If you can’t be with your pet during euthanasia or if they die without you it is never too late to say goodbye…they feel your love and don’t ever mention that you abandoned them
3. Animals see themselves as perfect even when they are missing an eye, a leg, or have other serious medical conditions.
4. Stay focused on the outcome or goal you want to achieve not their illness or issue
5. Most pets do not want to prolong their life with ongoing painful procedures.
6. Pets don’t seem to care what happens to their remains. If it makes you happy, that makes them happy
7. Pets do not fear dying. It is natural to them.
8. They need you to manage their pain or discomfort. When it cannot be managed help them transition.
9. That is worth repeating: Pets do not want to live in pain. They prefer quality over quantity.
10. Living a long life is a human concept. Animals do not count years.
Your job is to care for them and make sure they are comfortable.
We are not always meant to heal or cure them.
I don’t know about you but I have found that the older I get the harder it is to say goodbye.
Perhaps it is my thoughts about my own mortality as I get older…
Perhaps I am realizing that life goes by so incredibly fast…
Perhaps I am realizing that we only have so much time with them…
Some signs to watch for:
It is never an easy decision but when you make that choice with love in your heart and the best of intentions for your beloved pet they know that and will never judge you.
So, I ask you…what brought you to your decision? How did you know it was time to say goodbye?