How do you know when it's time to say good bye to your best friend?
Is there ever a good time?
Is there's a good time from your perspective? No, it's tough, no matter what.
As far as when it's the right thing to do for them, hard to say. If their quality of life is being dragged down by suffering, and there's no hope of improvement through diet, exercise, etc... well, it's a balance that you'll have to consider.
It's been 10 years and just reading this brings back the day I held my Bull Terrier while she was given an injection. I can still feel her life evaporating in my arms.
I don't know.
Is your friend dying of an illness or old age? When we (people and best friends) get very old our bodies start to shut down and wear out. We eat less, sleep more and waste away. This is the natural course of life. Very few of us get experience that.Usually, some illness (cancer, diabetes, stroke) affects our health and we succumb to our illness. In this instance it is important to determine if your friend is suffering. If so then perhaps it is time to see the vet.If your friend is winding down, sleeping a lot, then it is an opportunity to share some extra time and love before their departure.It is very confusing, all the second guessing about what or when to do this, but you will know when your pet is suffering and not enjoying life anymore.My sincere sympathies.
When they stop enjoying doing the majority of things dogs/cats enjoy, it is time.
Maybe I'm behind the curve on this but I've noticed, at least outside of the City, vets who will make house calls for this specific purpose.
whynot_31 said:When they stop enjoying doing the majority of things dogs/cats enjoy, it is time.
Goes for humans too, in my book.
Pay attention to their activity level and eating. Once my Grendel stopped moving and ate only every other day, I knew it was time. Its a good idea to have a human friend come with you for the procedure, as it is just emotionally devastating.
Once a dog or cat stops eating and moving daily you know the end is very near. Our pets don't hibernate and even in severe sickness or having just gotten out of surgery (I have had pets spayed, tumors removed etc), our animals will move or at least eat after a day.
We went through this last year. You will know when it's time. We did everything to keep him alive and healthy and were reluctant to let him go. But when it was time we knew, and I'm positive you'll get that sense when your friend is ready.
When it was time for the big sleep, we did it at home. Most local vets offer at home service or will recommend somebody that does. We had no problems finding a tech to come out and administer the "potion" at home. It was really hard but glad we did it where he was comfortable for him. My wife and I were there with him to say goodbye.
miss the little guy...
I hope you'll know when the time is right. If your cat/dog is in distress or pain, the time has come. If your friend is old and sleeping a lot, but not otherwise distressed the time may be a way off.
Cats get very distressed if they can't use their litter box and can't groom properly. You can assist this by making the litter box as easy to use as possible, maybe getting another one or two so s/he doesn't have to walk as far, using low sided ones rather than high sided ones, and give him/her a daily/twice daily brushing to assist with grooming, may help your feline friend in their twilight time. I was in the vet's office the other day and a lady came in saying her 19 year old cat was crying and disoriented, I thought that the time was probably imminent. Cats hide their pain as long as they can, so whimpering or crying is a sign that emergency veterinary treatment is essential.
Dogs are different to cats, but will also get distressed by bathroom accidents and inability to do the things they've always done. Dogs are less inclined to hide pain than cats, however if your dog is crying or whimpering, it is time to talk to the vet.
Sometimes the vet can provide minimally invasive treatments that will ease pain or discomfort and can allow you pet more time. I would discourage invasive treatments in elderly pets if they only reason is your unwillingness to let go. In the wild, elderly and sick animals become the prey of the younger and fitter, indoor pets don't have predators, so you are going to have to take a decision at some point to let your dog or cat go to the happy hunting ground.
It is never easy, usually heartbreaking. Allow yourself time and space to mourn and heal. Do the best thing for your pet.
Thank you all for your responses. It is obviously not an easy time for us.