Euthanasia Myths & Misconceptions

“My pet will die peacefully at home surrounded by family.”
Only a very small percentage of our pets experience a “good” death without our help. Many distressing changes can happen during the dying process and if left to die naturally will do so overnight or while the owner is away. Some owners feel regret afterward because their pet was alone when they died.

“I would be killing my pet.”
Try to remember that your pet’s illness, disease or injury is doing the harm to your pet. Euthanasia provides the opportunity to allow your pet to die humanely and with dignity. It is their illness that causes suffering; you are relieving that suffering in a loving and respectful way.

“Planning and scheduling the euthanasia is strange.”
It can feel odd or wrong to schedule a time or place for your pet’s passing. By scheduling ahead (even by a few hours or days), you are taking some control over a situation over which you have little power. Many owners find comfort in scheduling a time when friends or family members can be present, or in scheduling a time before their pet is truly suffering.

My pet will know what is happening.”
When handled properly, the euthanasia process is a loving, peaceful, dignified end of a pet’s life. Your vet can give medication to sedate that will relieve your pet’s anxiety and pain. Animals live in the present moment. Unlike us, they don’t know that a choice is being made—they only know that they are being loved, that you are with them, and that they don’t feel pain anymore.

“My pet will let me know.”
While there are sometimes signs, events or symptoms that occur that make the choice obvious, often the choice is not clear. Many families tell us that they waited too long; families rarely tell us they made the decision too soon.

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.

Information from The Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center, Honoring the Bond, Coping with the Loss

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