end of life care for dogs
Senior dog issues

End of life care for dogs. When is it enough?

senior dog care

Dogs don’t live forever

End of life care for dogs isn’t a subject we like to think about. But as dog parents, eventually, we’re going to have to address it at least once. We’ve had to address it many times. And it hurts each time. However, as much as it hurts, we keep having dogs in our lives because it’s all worth the pain.

We love our dogs

When we love our dogs, we’d do just about anything to keep them healthy, happy, and with us as long as possible. Years ago, that wasn’t as complicated as it is now. Used to be, the vet would give us a few choices. We’d try what we could. Then it would be time to let our beloved dogs go.

Now, dogs have all kinds of tests and therapies that can extend their lives. But those options come with a cost. Even though you want to do everything for your dog you possibly can, that may not be the best thing. It may be time to consider end of life care.

When is it time to let your dog go?

Making choices about end of life care

When you have to make decisions regarding your dog’s health, many aspects can affect your choice. Certainly, there is the financial aspect. You don’t want to make it about money, but the cost of getting treatments like chemotherapy or hip surgery can be overwhelming. Sometimes, the ability to pay just not available, so you have to say no. In some situations, you may find some financial assistance, but there is more to consider.

Just because a treatment is available doesn’t mean it will be the best thing for your dog. Putting your dog through procedure after painful procedure wears on them. Because they’re dogs, they don’t complain. But if you’re watching, you’ll see the pain and sadness in their eyes. If the projected outcome is hopeful, it might be worth it.

end of life care for dogs

End of life care for dogs

As the dog parent, you have to decide what’s best for your dog and what you can reasonably afford. It’s a tough decision, but someone has to make it. If, for example, your dog is elderly and full of cancer, end of life care becomes a good goal. If they are younger and have an injury that will heal, but the treatment is financially unreachable, the decision becomes much more difficult.

All you can do is make your best effort to give your dog a quality life. End of life care means exactly that. It means deciding against therapies that cause a lot of pain and suffering without adding quality to their lives.

Only you can decide when enough is enough. The chances are that your gut will tell you when it’s time for end of life care. So, as hard as it is to know that the end is approaching, you can have the knowledge that you’ve made decisions based on giving your dog their best life.

For more food for thought, read this post from slate.com or this one from vethelpdirect.com. I also wrote this post, When it’s time to say goodbye to your dog.

Have you needed to provide end of life care for a dog? Tell me about your experience in the comments below.

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