Should You Euthanize Your Aging Pet? How to Make (and Cope with) Your Decision

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Deciding whether or not to euthanize a pet can be a difficult and painful decision. Dr. Diane Pomerance, nationally known pet expert and author of “Animal Elders: Caring About Our Aging Animal Companions” shares what to consider when having to choose life or death for a pet who is aging or seriously ill.

Pets are like members of the family. From the minute that tiny kitten or playful puppy arrived, you began to develop strong bonds of trust and loyalty. That is why making the decision to euthanize them as they grow older or seriously ill can be incredibly difficult and painful.

According to the American Humane Society, approximately 9.6 million animals are euthanized annually in the United States. While some are put down due to overcrowding in shelters, others are sick, injured or old.

“Some companions die naturally, without the need for human intervention. Others suffer, no longer able to enjoy their lives,” says Dr. Diane Pomerance, nationally known pet expert and author of Animal Elders: Caring About Our Aging Animal Companions (Polaire Publications, http://www.AnimalCompanionsAndTheirPeople.com). “As their guardians and caregivers, we must be prepared to intervene.”

Certified as a Grief Recovery Specialist, Dr. Pomerance has a special interest in helping those who are mourning the loss of a beloved companion animal. She is the creator and director of the Pet Grief Counseling Program for the SPCA of Texas and is the author of several books and numerous articles.

Here Dr. Pomerance offers five considerations to help you make the painful decision of whether or not to end your aging pet's life:

  • Can your pet walk on its own and how much pain is experienced when walking?
  • How are your pet's sight and hearing and what are the prospects of these being improved?
  • Is there irreversible and/or life impairing organ damage?
  • Is humane veterinary treatment available?
  • Is incontinence an unsolvable problem?

If your pet is suffering, euthanization may be the greatest gift of compassion and perhaps the kindest, most humane decision you can make.

Find out more about how to make life comfortable for a pet that has past its prime with “5 Tips for Caring for Your Aging Animal Companion” at

http://www.AnimalCompanionsAndTheirPeople.com .

BIO: Dr. Diane Pomerance, America's Pet Expert

Diane Pomerance, Ph.D., has been featured as a highly qualified pet expert on many national

television and radio programs. She is the author of numerous articles and books including

Animal Elders: Caring About Our Aging Animal Companions, When Your Pet Dies, Animal

Companions: Your Friends, Teachers & Guides, and Animal Companions: In Our Hearts, Our Lives and Our World. Certified as a Grief Recovery Specialist, Dr. Pomerance has a special interest in helping those mourning the loss of a beloved companion animal. She is also the creator and director of the Pet Grief Counseling Program for the SPCA of Texas and an active

member of K-9 Friends Visiting Therapy Dogs, and the Alaskan Malamute Assistance League. She lives in North Texas with her husband and many canine “kids.”

Animal Elders: Caring About Our Aging Animal Companions

Polaire Publications

2005

ISBN: 0-9708500-4-2

$9.95

http://www.AnimalCompanionsAndTheirPeople.com

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Diane Pomerance