Quality of Life Forms
Deciding to euthanize your companion animal may be one of the most difficult decisions you ever make. Often, well-loved pets are euthanized to minimize unnecessary suffering. The quality of animals’ lives is defined by their overall physical and mental well-being, not just one aspect of their lives. In the final life stage, dogs and cats generally have a terminal or ultimately fatal disease, a chronic or progressive disease, like end-stage kidney or heart failure, debilitating arthritis, a chronic disability like the inability to walk, or any combination of these. Since the medical issue itself is incurable, the goal of medications and treatment will be making every day as good as it can be. Use the provided PDF documents below to help assess your pet’s quality of life and/or to contact your veterinarian.
Questions to ask your veterinarian:
- Is my pet suffering? How do you know? What is the best way to alleviate that?
- What modifications can I make to my home to increase my pet’s comfort?
- Are there indications that my pet is a candidate for hospice care?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of humane euthanasia versus hospice-supported natural death?
- What are the pros and cons of euthanasia at home or in the veterinary hospital?
- How should I involve other family members, children, or pets in this process?
- Can you recommend resources for people grieving the death of a beloved pet?