At-Home Euthanization, a Painless Farewell

Pets become part of our families. They are our confidants, our snuggle buddies, our furbabies. We’re with them through thick and thin, we take them to the park. We take them on playdates with other dogs. They come on summer break with us. We take them to the doctor when they’re sick. Sometimes, they even join us under the covers when it’s time to turn in for the night.

The worst fact any pet owner will have to come to terms with is that our lives are so much longer than theirs. Talking about letting go of a pet is never easy. It’s even harder when the pet in question is still with us. There are certain circumstances in which a pet owner might consider an at-home euthanization when the pet is reaching the end of their natural life.

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The Options

There are other options that a pet owner can consider other than euthanization. They include:

  • Natural death- in which a pet passes without assistance. Ensure that you consult with your veterinarian to ensure that their quality of life is optimal.
  • Extend the Life of Your Pet- in which a pet’s life is extended via surgery and medication- often culminating in an emergency euthanization.
  • Euthanization- in which a pet owner strategically chooses when to put their pet down. Oftentimes, while the pet still has dignity or until their quality of life begins to suffer.

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When is it Time?

At-home euthanization is an option to consider when your pet’s quality of life takes a turn for the worse. Your pet’s quality of life is essentially their normal behavior from day to day. It’s wise to keep a journal when you first begin to notice that your pet is acting abnormally. Share this journal with your pet’s vet so that you can keep them in the loop, as well. The vet will be able to flag you when they see something indicative of your pet’s deteriorating quality of life. A few of these indicators are if your pet:

  • Has lost control over their bowel movements.
  • Is in constant pain that cannot be stopped by medication. (This is where your vet comes in)
  • Has stopped eating.
  • Feels disinterested in the activities that once brought them joy.
  • Cannot stand up or walk without falling.

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What is Euthanasia?

Euthanasia comes from Greek, meaning “easy death”. It is defined as, “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.” And is seen as a last resort option when it’s impossible for the patient’s health to improve.

If your pet is in a large amount of pain and nothing seems to help soothe it, euthanasia may be an option that you might consider to stop their suffering. Always consult with your pet’s veterinarian before deciding anything.