For every person who loves and shares their life with a pet, the dreaded and inevitable day will come. The day when you question whether or not to intervene in how and when your pet's life will end. It is important to remember during this critical time when the body begins to shut down, that we need to no longer focus on the quality of life but rather the quality of death.
Myth #1-Dying Naturally Is Never Painful
Everybody wishes their pet to die peacefully, perhaps in his sleep, but unfortunately this is not common. If you are considering having your pet die naturally at home, you will need to keep in mind that there may be a chance you may have at some point the urgent need to have your pet put out of its misery.
Pain management is crucial if you want your pet to die at home. The problem with pain though is that often cats and dogs tend to hide pain. In cats, pain is a sign of weakness which could make them vulnerable to prey. They therefore prefer to hide rather than reveal it. Dogs are often stoic and will not necessarily manifest pain in obvious ways.
Myth #2-Dying Naturally is Peaceful
In euthanasia, the pet seems to just drift into a deep sleep. Yes, the pet may twitch, defecate and urinate, and even vocalize after dying, but these are reflexes. When a pet goes through natural death, the process of dying may take hours or days. The owner may see labored breathing and their pet may appear anxious or undergo seizures before dying. Most pet parents find this hard and upsetting to watch.
Myth #3-Dying Naturally is More Humane
If you decide to allow a natural death and then your pet suddenly starts suffering, you may regret your choice. Nothing is worse than hoping for a peaceful death and then seeing your pet suffer and not being able to get a hold of a vet to help your beloved companion.
Each pet is unique in life and therefore will be unique in their passing. It is important to speak with your veterinarian and to understand to the best of your ability what the future holds for your precious pet. If there is little chance for recovery and quality of life is poor, then euthanasia is the ultimate gift of love a pet owner can make.