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It is difficult to take the decision to end any life, let alone a companion who stood by you through thick and thin. You regard your pet as your family member and showered it all the love you give to your human near and dear ones. Sometimes, the love is even more. It is important to evaluate the quality of life enjoyed by your pet prior to making the crucial decision. A hasty yes may leave you feeling extreme regret and crushing guilt.
Professional opinion matters
You may consult a veterinarian to obtain an informed decision. The physician will make a dispassionate decision after examining your pet. The final decision, however, must be taken only by yourself, the owner of the animal.
It is time to put down your pet when the bad days are more than the good ones. If you love your pet, your antennae will be attuned to signals related to how your pet feels. Take a sheet of paper and chart the good days and the bad ones. The answer will help you to take a proper decision.
Quality of life
The pet must enjoy its life. The only justification to put down your pet is when it suffers its existence. This suffering manifests itself in the pet frequently soiling its living area. This is stressful not only for you but also for your pet. Other than the hygiene and cleanliness issue, there could be health risks like skin infections and rashes. The latter two happens when your pet sits on its own feces or urine or both. All these lead to a dramatic reduction in quality of life.
Your pet should enjoy fundamental activities like eating. It should have a normal appetite. The pet must enjoy interacting with humans. The animal must recognize you and other immediate family members. You should observe whether it can be mobile without much pain. If no, euthanasia is the only humane way forward.
It is perfectly okay to wake up one day and decide to put down your pet. Most people actually do this. Paradoxically, this method could bring peace to your mind. If you want, another member of your family could take the decision for you. Remember it is your pet who suffers- not you. Putting it down could be actually the only path to eliminate its pain.
Do not wait to euthanize your dog if you cannot tolerate its suffering. This is particularly true after the animal has suffered a long drawn out chronic illness. You have spent a lot of money, put your pet through multiple options, but with no result. It is now time to end its suffering once and for all.