This is the most common question I get from families. The answer is difficult, and different for every family, pet and situation. One of the most painful experiences we can face in our lifetime is the loss of a pet. The decision to euthanize is difficult; we experience agonizing conflict and guilt about the right thing to do.
No one ever wants to say goodbye. We often get stuck and can't decide, or take action, because of the fear of our loss and the anticipated grief associated with their passing. We keep hoping that they will take the decision out of our hands and pass on their own. What often happens is our pet ends up suffering in the face of our indecision.
By gaining knowledge about our pet's true signs of suffering, level of pain, and quality of life, we can gain clarity. With more knowledge and clarity, we can become more confident in the decision to say goodbye. We have a very valuable opportunity to give our cherished pet the gift of relief from suffering.With the choice of euthanasia, we can guarantee our pets a peaceful passing; and that is the most selfless act of love we can give.
The rule of "Five Good Things": Pick the top five things your pet loves to do. Write them down. When he or she can no longer do three or more of them the quality of life may have diminished to a point where humane euthanasia should be considered.
Good Days VS Bad Days: When pets have both good days and bad days it can be difficult to track how their condition is progressing over time. Tracking good days vs bad days on your calendar can be helpful in determining if your loved one is having more bad than good days.
Quality of Life Checklists:
Chronic Incurable Disease
Severe Weight Loss
More Bad Days than Good Days
Severe Aggression/Behavior Disorder