Making the Decision
Information in this section is from "Coping with Pet Loss" at helpguide.org and is reprinted with permission of ©Helpguide.org, all rights reserved. Helpguide.org is a trusted nonprofit guide to mental health and well-being.
A decision concerning euthanasia may be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make for your pet. As a loving pet owner, though, the time may come when you need to help your pet make the transition from life to death in a painless, peaceful a way. Euthanasia for a beloved pet is a highly personal decision and usually comes with the knowledge that they are suffering seriously. Your choices for your pet should be informed by the care and love you feel for them.
Some important things to consider when assessing your pet's condition are:
Activity level - Does your pet still enjoy the activities he or she particularly loved? Are they able to be active at all?
Response to care and affection - Does your pet still interact and respond to love and care in the usual ways?
Amount of pain and suffering - Is your pet experiencing any pain or suffering? If so, does their pain and suffering seem to outweigh pleasure and enjoyment in life?
Terminal illness or critical injury - Has an illness or injury prohibited your pet from enjoying life? Is your pet facing certain death from this illness or injury?
Your family’s feelings - Is your family unanimous in the decision? If not, and you still feel it is the best thing for your pet, can you live with the decision that you have to make?
Coping with Pet Loss at helpguide.org
Coping with the Death of Your Pet from The Human Society of the United States.
End of Life Care FAQ from the ASPCA.
A guide to caring for your pets during their final days.
Coping With Pet Loss
Pet Loss Hot Lines
ASPCA National Pet Loss Hotline
Iams Pet Loss Support Hotline
Phone: 1-888-332-7738 - M-F 9 am to 5 pm
The Pet Loss Companion
by Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio and Nancy Saxton-Lopez
Healing advice from family therapists who lead pet loss groups.
Cold Noses At The Pearly Gates
by Gary Kurz
A book of hope for those who have lost a pet.
The Seattle Humane Society offers weekly Pet Loss support sessions to help with the loss of a pet. For more information, call (425) 649-7566 or email them at email@example.com. Pet Loss Support meets every Saturday at 10:00 am on the second floor of the administration building at the Seattle Humane Society. No fee is required and you are free to attend as often as necessary throughout your grief process.