When To Say Goodbye To Your Pet
It’s a subject many of us don’t like to talk about or prefer to avoid altogether. But inevitably the day comes when we have to say good bye to our cherished pet.
I had a tortoiseshell cat named “Koko” who was the most precious friend that ever came into my life. From the moment I adopted her until the dreaded day more than 18 years later when I had to say good-bye she was my pet soulmate.
Even during her healthiest years I would find myself asking the question, “What will I ever do without her and how will I ever find the strength to help her pass on, should it come to that?”
So, when the terrible day finally arrived I prayed for the strength to see it through – and somehow the strength was given.
It has been 11 years since I had to say good-bye to Koko. And with each passing year I have questioned whether I selfishly let her linger too long.
Dr. Jeff Werber, a veterinarian and contributing writer for PetHealthNetwork.com recently shed some light on this subject in an article he wrote for the online magazine. You can read it here: http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/end-life-support-grieving-dogs/when-right-time-say-goodbye.
Werber shares his own heartbreaking anecdotes and beautifully describes ways he’s come to terms with the loss of his pets, and how he’s helped pet parents know when is the right time to let a pet pass on. He also advocates for performing in-home euthanasia to lessen the stress on the pet (and pet parents) of making the trip to the vet’s office on his or her last day.
The formula he uses to help pet parents determine if the time is right to say good-bye is largely about the quality of life of the pet in question.
In my case with Koko, who suffered from kidney failure, the fluids I administered daily prolonged her life. But I believe now that was solely for my own benefit and not hers.
Werber asks pet parents to consider how active their pet is and if his or her ability to participate in daily activities is greatly compromised. He asks if the pet is having great difficulty getting around at all, including finding it difficult to get up to go to the bathroom.
It’s so hard to say good-bye to someone you love but in the case of your pet, who can’t necessarily speak for themselves, I believe having their best interests at heart will tell your heart when the time is right to let them go.
If you have questions about whether the time is drawing near or about in-home euthanasia be sure to ask your pet’s vet for their perspective.