As we rally against the needless killing of shelter pets for convenience, we sometimes tend to skip meaningful discussion on true euthanasia for our own pets. This is such an important issue to explore as it is often complicated and always heartbreaking. One way to lift the veil is by sharing our experiences, something I have tried to do on the blog each time one of my own pets dies. I am inviting readers to share their experiences, questions and thoughts on the subject in the comments.
For myself, one of the questions I have struggled with regarding euthanasia is timing. I know this is a common challenge for pet owners. None of us wants to wait too long but of course we don’t want to make the decision too soon either. With some pets, I have questioned myself on both accounts – that is, wondering if I waited too long and if I should have waited a little longer. Hearing other people’s experiences has been very helpful to me and I hope this discussion will be helpful to others. I will pose some questions to get the ball rolling but please feel welcome to share any related thoughts that are on your mind.
- In euthanizing a pet, how much have you relied on input from your veterinarian? Do you feel that ultimately, only you know when it’s time, due to the bond you have with your pet?
- Have you ever made a decision to provide hospice care for a pet and allow the pet to die at home? If yes, were you closely involved with a vet during the process and do you wish you had – or had not – been?
- Have you ever scheduled a euthanasia appointment with your vet in advance and then spent a final special day with your pet or do you typically end up at the emergency clinic during the night?
- What about when you die – do you have a plan in place to provide care for your pets once you are gone? Is there any reliable way to protect them from being seized by animal control and killed for convenience after your death?