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No - this is not a pleasant thought at all!
Let’s just go ahead and recognize that this is a very sad thought. Your furry friend has been with you through thick and thin. He or she has been there to help you through the challenges of living your life and has provided you comfort in the darkest of days.
They have also been with you to help you celebrate milestones and enjoy happy days with you.
The thought of ending your precious pooch’s life is almost unmentionable to you.
Here are some things you need to think over:
How is the quality of life for your dear pet?
Can your pet still do the things they love like playing with their favorite toys, going for car rides, and going for walks or runs in the sunshine? It's important to identify the things your pet loved to do so that you can count how many of those things they can still do today. Your dog just wants to have fun, be happy, and wag their tail!
Are they whining and crying from pain?
Do they seem in constant distress or sadness? If your pet is in more distress or pain than a peaceful existence, you need to think about what this must feel like to them emotionally. They don't understand the process of growing old and dying, they just know they hurt and want relief from it.
Are they still eating and drinking on their own?
Your dog will surely dehydrate quickly if they cannot take in nourishment on a regular basis. If they cannot do this on their own, you should be working with your vet to come up with other ways to deliver hydration and nourishment to them.
Do they have control of their biles and kidneys?
If not, are you constantly cleaning up after them and/or changing their doggie diaper? You must realize that constantly cleaning up after your helpless dog may introduce new stress into your life. Stress is a major contributor to many illnesses so make sure you are taking care of yourself too.
Do they have a terminal illness?
Have you discussed with their vet your dog’s prognosis? Do they have 6 more months or 6 more years? Will their symptoms gradually progress to horrible events that will be upsetting for the both of you? No one knows the future but it is a good mental exercise to try to predict how the future will be with your sick dog. Thinking through what it could be like will help you evaluate what to do now.
Can you afford the medical treatment they are undergoing or needing?
Will it put you in financial stress? Finances are one of the major causes of arguments with your significant other. It is also a major stress factor in your life. Be sure you are thinking through this aspect for your financial wellbeing. Animal care is not cheap at all these days.
Are you keeping your pet alive for YOUR or THEIR benefit?
Although your pet has been there and enriched your life in so many ways, it may be time to put your feelings aside and think first and foremost about their emotional needs.
It’s hell getting older or terminally sick. It’s also a very sucky part of life to watch someone (whether human or animal) begin to wither away and lose their life. However, we all know that it is the huge plan of life that we all are born to die. Sorry to be so blunt but "truth is truth".
Now that I have you thinking about the hard questions and you are beginning to form some answers in your mind…
Take an honest assessment of where things are for your pet.
If you feel you can get them medical help and buy them another year of quality life (keep in mind you need to define “quality of life” for your pet), then it might make total sense to walk this path.
If you feel like you are about to spend a lot of money (that you really don’t have) to get a few more months of low quality life for your pet, then maybe its time to make an incredibly hard decision to let your fur baby go.
You are faced with one of the toughest decisions of your life (and I have been right there with you with my pets too). I sympathize with you today and want to encourage you to be strong for your pet.
If you can still see a defined quality of life for your pet, then carry on. However, if the quality has turned into tears, pain, and torment, I almost want to say it is inhumane to let your pet continue on in this way. Think about it...
If you have decided to let your pet go rest in peace, then you should focus on those sweet memories of the wonderful smiles and joy that your pet brought to you. Gather your pics, write down your memories, and treasure the time you and your pet had together. This gives you permission to “let go” and “hold on to the good” at the same time.
None of us will live forever. Focus on what is the right thing to do for your pet and I know, without a doubt, you will make the right decision.
Your pet's pawprints will forever be in your heart and they will never be forgotten by you. This was a gift that you can always treasure.
Need to talk about it?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, contact us, or comment below. I am more than happy to talk it through with you...
You might also find these reads helpful for you and your pet: How to Help Your Furious Feline Live Longer, 12 Small Dog Breeds that will Love Your Kids, and Why is My Poor Dog Breathing as Fast as Ever.
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