The most common question I am asked is, "How will I know when it's 'time?"
If you are asking that question now, please know you are not alone and that it is normal to feel confused and uncertain. In all my years of helping people through this question, I have found that the rarer cases are where families just know "it's time". The more common cases are families just do not know and almost feel like considering putting their pet to sleep is almost like a betrayal.
I want you to know these feelings are normal. However, starting the quality of life conversation is honoring the sacred bond you have with your pet, and is not a betrayal. When considering if it's time, we must look at multiple factors such as:
Appetite: is the pet still eating or is that slowing down or nonexistent?
Mobility: is the pet able to move around on their own or do they require constant assistance?
Pain: is the pet whimpering, shying away from touch, yelping out, or refusing to move?
Favorite things: older pets will always slow down with activity, but they should still get a little excited by some of their favorite toys, treats, activities. Are they not showing any response to their normal favorite things?
Interaction with Family: is the pet hiding and being more reclusive?
Bad vs. Good Days: is the pet experiencing more bad days than good?
Hygiene: is the pet unable to control normal bodily functions and as a result needs more and more bathing and cleaning from pet owners?
"The Look": there are some pets, not all, whose face changes, the light in their eyes dim, and they give off a look that means they are near the end.
It is my job to help you navigate this difficult decision, but if your pet is experiencing some of the above changes, it is a normal to start asking the question of when is it time as these can all be signs of nearing the end. And if you have made that tough decision already, I want you to know that I support you 100%. The bonds between families and their pets are incredible and I know that you know what's best for your furry friends.
Unleashed With Grace (815)270-2011 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Serving the following Illinois Counties: LaSalle, Kendall, DeKalb, Kane, Grundy, Will, DuPage (your county not listed?...just contact us for availability to serve you where you are!)