The Holidays are a time of celebration, and joy, and reflection. Generally people are able to spend more quality time at home with family this time of year. Maybe that is why I hear this question more often during the Holidays.
When is it time? How will I know?
There are no easy answers to these questions. When to euthanize your beloved family pet is a difficult question to grapple with. It is Supposed to be difficult. The inner struggle makes us worthy of the Trust that our animals place in us. That is what my dad told me and that is what I tell my clients and friends and family members when this topic comes up.
There is no one for sure sign of when it is time. Have a family meeting, make sure everyone is on the same page, discuss what your pet’s favorite things are. Are they still able to do these things? Are they in pain? Is their pain controllable? How fast are they declining?
When a decision is made after these discussions, it is made in love with the family members knowledge and consent. In my mind this is the best way. This is what I tell people time and time again.
Now it is my dog. My dog who was my best friend before I met my husband or had my daughter. Who helped me get through vet school, who stood up in our wedding, who has been my constant companion for 15 years. My Sara-Soda-Pants who is old and increasingly in pain and confused. I ask people – How will I know? When will it be time? What should I do to help her pain? How long should I wait? I keep expecting other people to be able to answer these questions for me, but I know they cannot. So, we are having the family meetings. We are keeping her comfortable. We are spoiling her and loving her and trying to get as much quality time in as possible.
There are no easy answers but we will make the decision based in Love and it will be Hard and we will be Worthy of her Trust.