When a veterinarian recommends euthanasia, it is almost always a complete shock. As a result, pet owners are left with a significant decision that they must approach with deep thought. Whatever the case, there is never a standard right or wrong decision. It should instead be based on individual factors. 

Quality of Life

Every dog or cat deserves a fruitful, enjoyable, and happy life. However, there are a variety of injuries or illnesses that can impede the delivery of this goal and, as such, guarantee that the animal's life will be anything but joyous. Consequently, pet owners should begin their decision-making process with an assessment of the quality of life their animal will have going forward, such as their ability to walk or comfortably spend time with family. 

Ability to Provide Care

It is always essential to assess your ability to care for the animal, given its diagnosis. For example, for an injury or disease that prevents the animal from walking, it will be necessary for someone to be available around the clock to assist the dog or cat with feeding, potty breaks, and simple movement within their bed. Pet owners who do not have the means to be able to provide this level of intense care should carefully weigh this decision. 

Long-Term Emotional State

Dogs and cats may not be able to verbalize pain or discomfort clearly, but this does not mean they are not experiencing it. Depending on the dog's temperament, their discomfort may manifest in emotional changes. For instance, some dogs will become incredibly aggressive or withdrawn. Other dogs might become anxious or clingy. Whatever the case, if the underlying issue changes the animal's emotional health, it is never a good thing. 


One reason euthanasia recommendations are often so surprising is that owners typically look at the current state of their animal and assume that the pet will remain in the same condition. However, this option is sometimes recommended based on the prognosis, in that the cat or dog's health is likely to decline rapidly. A rapid decline in health will have many undesirable outcomes for the pet. Speak with the veterinarian to get a clear picture of the future to help make your decision. 

Again, this decision is a major one, so do not hesitate to bring in friends, family, or anyone else you trust to help you make your determination on what is best for your situation. Look to a service such as Paws to Rest to learn more.