Grief for the impending loss of your pet is complicated by the need to make difficult, often painful decisions. You may ask yourself how much treatment should I pursue? At what point will treatment cause more trauma than relief? Can I provide the care needed to keep my pet comfortable? At what point, if any, should I consider euthanasia?
How Do I Make The Decision? Your relationship with your pet is special, and you are responsible for its care and welfare. Eventually, many owners are faced with making life or death decisions for their pets. Such a decision may become necessary for the welfare of the animal and for you and your family. A decision concerning euthanasia may be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make regarding your pet. Your decision is a personal one, but it need not be a solitary one. Our veterinarians and your family and friends can assist and support you. Consider not only what is best for your pet, but also what is best for you and your family. Quality of life is important for pets and people alike. How Will I Know When It's Time? If your pet can no longer do with you and your family the things he or she once enjoyed, if your pet cannot respond to you in the usual ways, or if there is more pain than pleasure in his or her life, you may need to consider euthanasia. Likewise, if your pet is terminally ill or critically injured, or if the financial or emotional cost of treatment is beyond your means, euthanasia may be a valid option.
Our veterinarians understand attachments to pets, and can examine and evaluate your pet's condition, estimate your pet's chances for recovery, and discuss potential disabilities and long-term problems. We can explain the medical options and possible outcomes. Because your veterinarian cannot make the euthanasia decision for you, it is important that you fully understand your pet's condition. If there is any part of the diagnosis or the implications for your pet's future that you don't understand, please ask to have it explained again. Rarely will the situation require an immediate decision. Usually, you will have time to review the facts before making your decision.
As you make your decision, you may wish to discuss the care of the remains of your pet's body with your family. At Best Friend's Animal Hospital we offer three options:
You may take your pet home for a private burial outside of city limits.
We can help you arrange a private cremation for your pet with its ashes returned to you.
We can handle your pet’s remains for you, which involves a communal cremation.
Our staff members are also pet owners and, therefore, they understand the bond between humans and animals and the difficulty of losing a cherished pet. Our staff does everything possible to help you through this decision and is available to talk to you about the euthanasia process before you come in for the service, so that you understand what to expect.