It can be totally heartbreaking when a pet gets sick. Dogs fill our lives with happiness, so when they are under the weather the whole family feels it! Things can get even worse if the sickness becomes severe, or if it turns into a chronic issue.
Thankfully, technology today has made all kinds of advancements to help treat hurting fur-babies. Sometimes, though, extensive treatments can be a bit of a double-edged sword. You may begin to wonder, what are the best things you can do for your pet when it's sick? Are your treatment options reasonable, or are they just prolonging the suffering? And when do you decide enough is enough?
Having an animal in your life is a wonderful thing. After years of sharing your home with your canine companion, it can be hard to bare the idea of them suffering. Owners with sick puppies also face a difficult path, juggling feelings of responsibility to the little creature they've adopted with the reality of how complicated a lifelong illness can be.
Below are some serious points that anyone dealing with a sick dog should think about. Remember, at the end of the day, it's important to focus on what is really best for the dog.
How Many Good Years/Months or Weeks Does My Dog Have?
This question may not be the easiest thing to figure out, but if your dog is seriously ill it's a conversation you should be having with your vet. Find out what the prognosis is for the sickness your pooch is ailed with. Go online and reach out to other dog owners who have dealt with similar situations. This can help you decide on an appropriate treatment regime for your dog's specific situation. For instance, it wouldn't be fair to put a dog through a stressful procedure if it will only buy him a few more weeks on Earth.
Can I Be There For My Dog?
Even for pups that will likely recover, if your dog is sick you need to determine how you can be there for them. Leaving a pooch alone for long periods of time when he is ill can make the situation worse. If the sickness is bad enough, your dog may need to be monitored at all times to make sure their vital signs stay steady. This could mean that you need to take a few vacation days from work to be able to provide the proper care to your pupper.
Are They Still Getting Joy Out of Life?
Of all of the things to consider when your dog is seriously sick, this one may be the most important. If you know that you pooch has a good chance of pulling through, the suffering in the meantime is probably worth it. But for dogs who are up there in age or hold a grim prognosis, you made need to stop and look back on each week. Did your dog enjoy playing, eating or going on walks? Does he still get excited when family members come home? Does he show visible signs of pain each time he performs basic movements? While it hurts to think about, if your four-legged friend has a life without joy, it may be time for you to say goodbye.
Be honest with yourself and your vet when it comes to severe illnesses. Remember that dogs think differently than people, and they aren't able to reason through pain by thinking about extra months with their human family. Certain treatments can add more stress on your pooch, which could counteract any good they do.
It's the day that no pet owner wants to think about, but when you're dealing with a terminally ill dog, at some point euthanasia is the kindest option. While some choose to take their dog to the vet for this life-ending procedure, many now are considering euthanasia at home. This gives your fur-baby the dignity of leaving Earth while in his favorite place, calm and surrounded by familiarity.
Focus on giving your dog the best life possible while you can. Seek out treatment options whenever the situation allows it but do your best to put your pup's quality of life over your own desire to be with him. It's such a privilege to love an animal, and to be loved back by them. You can honor them by offering a peaceful way out when the time comes.