I want to talk about a sometimes uncomfortable topic for many of us but a very important subject; which is the passing of our pets. In the majority of cases we will out live our beloved four-legged companions, and unfortunately in most cases we are the ones to make the decision when that time is.
One of the biggest questions we hear from our clients is, “How will I know when it’s time?” That is a very subjective decision and the best advice we can offer is to ask yourself these questions; “Does he or she have a good quality of life?” “Does he or she still have an appetite, are they getting around without too much trouble?” “Are they still capable and willing to go outside or engage with you for play or affection?” “Does he or she still like treats?” These are just a few examples, but the main decision maker for us with our pets has been how we feel in our gut, do we feel that they are still enjoying life to any extent or do we feel life has become a chore or just an existence. Some of us hold on a little too long for our own sake, however, you are the only one to make that decision.
If the decision is to let your pet go, here are a few other questions to think about:
• Should I take my pet to my veterinarian or can I have someone come to my home? If your pet gets stressed out at the vet ask your vet if they will come to your home, or if they can recommend a veterinarian that does at-home euthanasia as their primary practice.
• Should I be present? We very much encourage our clients to be with their pet during the procedure so your pet feels at ease with you there with them.
• If you have multiple pets and they are closely bonded to each other we highly recommend letting the surviving pet be able to see the pet that has passed after the procedure.
They should not be in the room during the procedure, but seeing their friend afterwards will give them closure instead of wondering where he or she is.
If there is a pet friend that was very close to the pet that passes, he or she may need time to mourn just like we do, so take it easy if he or she isn’t quite acting playful right away.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Brad Jaffe is owner of Team Canine, Inc. Visit www.teamcanine.com for more information.