When to let your pet go
Vets don't want to see the bond broken between you and your pet anymore than you do. And while you may not like what you hear, there's no better counsel to seek for your pet than your Greencross vet.
Planning ahead is key
As your pet ages, having a close working relationship with your vet is key. Old age is not a disease and many of the signs and symptoms associated with ageing can be managed . However, it does eventually come to a point where medical (or potentially surgical) intervention is no longer a valid option and we must put the needs of the pet first.
The 'when to let your pet go' conversation should take place with your local Greencross Vets before serious warning signs emerge, says Dr Jessica Ierardo from Greencross Vets Sandringham.
“I am a strong believer in having a plan and having that difficult discussion with your vet as the pet gets older,” says Dr Ierardo.
“Owners can often be a lot more guilt ridden if they are rushed into the decision because their pet has collapsed, or is seizing, or gasping for breath.”
“To let your pet go peacefully, respectfully, and not letting them go through a prolonged period of suffering is a selfless act,” she says.
The decision about whether to include young children in the euthanasia process can be a difficult one. Often parents will have young children that don't know life without their pet. But Dr Ierardo says you can make the situation worse for everyone by putting it off.
“The pet can rapidly decline, and it may be more stressful for the young children to watch the animal suffering, or worse, find them passed away,” she says.
“The death of an animal can often be a child's first experience of life and death, I have found them to be generally very understanding despite their ages, and like the chance to say goodbye.”
There are ways to make your pet's final moments more peaceful, says Dr Ierardo.
“If taking your pet to the vet has always been stressful, some vet clinics can organise a euthanasia at your home,” she says.
“This can often be a nice way to say your final goodbye while your pet sits in their favourite spot, or is surrounded by familiar things.”