Bannock Animal Medical Center

When Is It Time to Put Down a Pet?

If you’re wondering when it is time to put down a pet, then it’s likely that your pet is experiencing some health problems. There is no clear time to put your pet down. When you have to think about it, this is a terrible experience for pet owners. But, there are some guidelines that many vets recommend.

4 Things to Consider When It May be Time to Put Your Pet Down

It is often tempting to keep your pet alive because you don’t want to live without him or her. But, in the wild, animals know when they will no longer be able to live. They often go to a quiet spot to die. Your pet may be trying to do just this, and keeping him or her alive might actually be prolonging discomfort and making your pet unhappy. So, here are four things for you to consider when you think it’s time:

1.      Consider your pet’s feelings. No, not emotional feelings, but the way they feel physically. Many animals are very good at hiding discomfort. They can live with it for a very long time before it begins to inhibit their quality of life. If your pet stops eating, is lethargic, cannot walk or is otherwise sick, it is time to take him or her to the vet. When your vet determines what is wrong with your pet, and especially if the illness is serious or your pet is old, it will be time to consider your options. If the animal will need extensive treatment and may not feel any better, then it might be time to consider putting your pet down.

2.      Think about quality of life. Using dogs and cats as an example, the quality of life going forward should be considered. Keep in mind that animals live to play, serve and fill a productive role in your family. So, when they are no longer able to do these things, their quality of life is diminished. Not being able to perform their role in the family can cause an animal to become depressed and unhappy.

3.      Think about the cost of treatment. Sometimes, treating animal illnesses can be just as expensive as treating human illnesses. If you don’t have the money to treat an illness or injury, and the chances of recovery are slim, it might be time to consider putting your pet down. In other cases, if treatment costs are a bit of a stretch, but the chances of recovery are good, it is likely worth it to treat the illness or injury.

4.      Don’t keep an animal alive for selfish reasons. As pet owners, we often try to keep our furry family members alive because we don’t want to live without them. Consider everything as objectively as possible when deciding whether or not it’s time to put a pet down. As mentioned before, keeping a pet alive because you don’t want to lose your friend can make the animal more uncomfortable and unhappy than if you choose to euthanize.

Make an Educated Decision about Euthanizing Your Pet

Euthanizing is one of the most difficult choices you will ever have to make. Deciding when it is time to put down a pet can be agonizing. But, considering everything and thinking objectively about the long term health and happiness of the animal should help make the decision easier.