Pet Euthanasia and End of Life Care: What You Need to Know
Every dog has its day. And, unfortunately, every pet has his or her final day as well. Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is never easy. That said, pet euthanasia is often a mercy, and pet end of life care can provide comfort. Contact us at Forest Hill Animal Hospital in Germantown, TN if you have questions about euthanasia or how to care for an aging pet.
When Is Pet Euthanasia Necessary?
Pet Euthanasia allows a veterinarian to end your pet’s suffering. You may want to enjoy every last moment with your pet. However, if your pet is in pain, is severely ill, or is otherwise suffering from a terrible quality of life, pet euthanasia can end his suffering.
Vets typically suggest euthanasia when your pet’s life is nearing its end. Your pet may be old, or may be suffering from an incurable disease, such as cancer. Your pet may have suffered a severe injury as well, and treatment may not be a sound option.
Even if you could keep your pet alive for a few more weeks, euthanasia is often recommended when your dog, cat, or other pet is suffering. Often, being put to sleep offers a reprieve. Making this decision is difficult, but a vet can provide objective advice that puts your pet’s needs first.
How Do I Provide Pet End of Life Care?
Your pet may be entering his last leg. Death is inevitable, but if your pet is not in pain and is still enjoying life, you may opt for end-of-life care rather than euthanasia.
At this stage, it’s important to provide your cat, dog, or other pet as much comfort as possible. If your pet has arthritis and has difficulty moving, you may be able to make things easier. Using raised food bowls, for example, can reduce strain if your pet has difficulty bending down.
As the end of life approaches, your pet may no longer be able to enjoy certain activities, such as a long hike or day at the park. Still, you may be able to rig up a carriage that your pet can lay down in while you take him or her on a final sightseeing tour.
Older pets require different care than puppies and kittens and animals in their prime. Soft foods might be easier to digest, for example. Medications may ease arthritis and other pains.
If you have an older pet, speak with our veterinarian about treatment options and pet end-of-life care. It’s also wise to discuss when pet euthanasia may become necessary.