The hardest question of all is knowing when to euthanize a pet. The only time it becomes easy to make this decision is when they are in a medical crisis. Even those families who are planning on supporting their pet through a natural death must have a plan in place for euthanasia.

When considering euthanasia, many factors need to be examined: Is my pet ready for death? Has a terminal illness or age related change become so unbearable for the pet that death would be welcomed? Has your pet told you they are ready to go? Is the family finding it difficult to provide supportive care? Has euthanasia become the kindest thing for everyone involved?

When we recognize that supportive medical and emotional care for the pet will not be provided and suffering is eminent, we at Home to Heaven support the choice to euthanize. It is, after all, a valid method of providing relief to a pet in the grips of pain, respiratory distress, uncontrollable seizures, and other conditions.

Knowing when to euthanize a dog, a cat, a horse, or companion livestock ultimately comes down to the family. It is our responsibility as veterinarians to help guide decision making, to educate, and to eliminate fear at such a critical time. All of the doctors with Home to Heaven will help you to look at what is happening in your pet’s life. They will assess the illness and decline and discuss your options with you.

We will go over such factors as mobility, appetite, hygiene, interest in life, and your family’s ability to provide care in the home setting.

Do you have financial constraints? Are you able to move a large dog in and out for potty breaks? Do you have the time to devote to the sometimes-constant nursing care? We fully understand that the option to euthanize is always present.

Our doctors are more than happy to come to your home whenever needed to do a basic consultation with your family. They will assess your pet’s condition, go over any issues you have been dealing with, and try to help you make the decision of when to put your dog to sleep.

Our doctors are willing to help you proceed through the process of hospice towards a natural death or euthanasia. But, you will never be pressured to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. The decision of when to euthanize your dog is a personal one and should not be forced upon anyone.