Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer than ever before; however, that still doesn’t mean they won’t eventually reach the end of their lifespan. Letting go of a pet when they’ve reached the end of their lifespan is incredibly difficult, and it’s even more challenging to determine how to make that decision. Although you may not think you can tell when it’s time to let your pet go, a few indicators can help you evaluate your beloved companion’s quality of life.
Encouraging an ill pet to eat and drink can be challenging even with appetite stimulants and diet changes. And, while feeding tubes and fluid therapy can help, they’re not long-term options.
#2: Your pet is in pain or unable to move without help
Medications and alternative therapies can go a long way toward making your pet comfortable and mobile, but they have limits. If your pet is still in pain or can no longer move around for daily activities despite medication or other therapies, it may be time to let them go.
#3: Your pet is incontinent or needs assistance eliminating
Fecal and urinary incontinence are challenging to manage in a large dog and can create hygiene issues in any size pet. Some pets may even need their bladder expressed, which is a serious commitment on the pet owner’s part.
Although your pet’s body may hold them back from a rousing game of fetch or scaling their climbing tower, they may still be interested in other activities. However, if your pet appears to be depressed and fails to show interest in any activities, they likely are no longer enjoying their life.
#5: Your pet does not enjoy interacting with the family
Pets are meant to be family companions, and they typically enjoy the interaction. But, if your pet is shunning any contact and appears withdrawn, consider their quality of life.
Scheduling regular veterinary examinations is one of the most important steps pet owners can take to keep their pets in tip-top shape. When dogs and cats enter their senior years, these health examinations are more important than ever. If you’re unsure how to evaluate your pet’s quality of life, contact us to schedule an assessment.