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The decision to euthanize a beloved pet can be one of the hardest decisions for a pet owner to make, but as veterinarians, it is our job to assist you in the decision-making process. It is normal to struggle with whether you are making the right choice for your pet but know that we will support both you and your pet every step of the way.

Here at Megan’s Landing Vet Clinic we use Pet Angel for all of our afterlife services. Pet Angel Memorial Center® understands the bond shared with your pet—he or she was a true family member, whose passing has left a space in your heart that you sometimes think can never be healed. But with time, compassion, and understanding, you can recover from the grief and find ways to cherish the memory of your special companion. Click here for more information on Pet Angel.

There are several options for your pet’s remains. You can elect to have your pet cremated and their ashes returned to you with a clay footprint included. You can elect a communal cremation and have their ashes spread in the crematory garden, or you may wish to bury your pet at home. These options will be discussed with you upon making an appointment with our clinic.

When Is The Right Time?

A pet’s quality of life can vary based on the disease a pet is struggling with, the pet’s personality, and the family’s abilities to care for the pet during this time. While there is no perfect way to evaluate your pet’s quality of life, there are many factors that you can consider if you think it may be time to discuss euthanasia with your veterinarian.

For some, it is helpful to use objective rubrics to assess the quality of life. Here is one helpful example from Ohio State University. Another idea is to mark a calendar with good days and bad days to see how your pet is doing over time. If the bad days start to outnumber the good, it may be time to consider euthanasia. Keep in mind that good days and bad days may look different for every pet.

Pain: Does your pet have consistent or uncontrolled pain? Signs of pain can include pacing, excessive panting, hiding, avoiding interaction with the family, growling, immobility, whining, not eating, flinching when touched.

Appetite: Has your pet’s appetite decreased or has he or she stopped eating completely? What about favorite foods or hand feeding?

Incontinence: Is your pet able to urinate and defecate? Is he or she going in inappropriate places even after being examined by a veterinarian?

Mobility: Is your pet able to get up and down with or without help? Do pain medication or supplements help your pet’s mobility? Is your pet able to groom himself? If your pet is no longer able to get around or if you are no longer able to help your pet get around, it may be time to consider euthanasia.

Happiness: What does your pet love to do?  When your pet no longer enjoys food, toys, treats, human company, or the environment around them, it may be time to consider euthanasia.

Our goal at Megan’s Landing Veterinary Clinic is to make the end of your pet’s life as comfortable as possible. As veterinarians and animal lovers, empathy and compassion are at the heart of what we do and we are here to make this difficult time a bit easier on you and your pet.