So far the most common comments I have gotten on this site are from people trying to assess their dog’s quality of life and make a decision about when and if there will come a time to help them leave this world.
I can help with that. My book has a whole chapter on the difficult question of whether and when to euthanize a dog with dementia. Because dogs with cognitive decline are sometimes still physically healthy otherwise, this question, which is always difficult, can be even harder.
I let my little Cricket go on May 31, 2013. I tell that story in full in my book, and two other people generously shared their stories of how they made the decisions for their own dogs.
Other Resources on Euthanasia
Here are some resources on end-of-life care for your beloved friend and some articles that can help you assess your pet’s quality of life.
I highly recommend the following book. It was a real comfort to me as I assessed and reassessed little Cricket’s quality of life.
Facing Farewell is a comprehensive guide to making the hard decision, but in addition describes the euthanasia process in detail and helps you know ahead of time what to discuss with the veterinarian and what to expect.
Helpful Articles about Decision Making
- ASPCA’s End of Life Care FAQ: What to expect in your pet’s final days and how best to help
- Villalobos Quality of Life Scale: Add up numerical points to determine your dog’s overall quality of life
- Let’s Talk: When is it Time to Say Good-Bye to Your Dog?: Commentary on the Villalobos scale (above) and links to other articles
- American Humane Society: Euthanasia: Making the Decision Knowing when it’s time, saying goodbye, what to expect
Finally, here is a piece by a physician on grieving for a dog. I think he makes some very wise points. Lessons from Zachary: What a Physician Learns from the Death of his Dog.