1. Home

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Free Online Spell Check

How to Know When It Is 'time' to Euthanize a Pet
From your Veterinary Medicine Guide

Questions to consider when evaluating quality of life. Some guidelines to help determine when it is time to say goodbye to a terminally ill pet.

Here's How:
  1. Is my pet enjoying the activities that s/he used to? Eating, walking, playing, interested when you leave or come home?
  2. Is my pet able to eat and drink? If my pet needs to be assisted, is my pet getting adequate fluid and nutrition?
  3. Is my pet able to urinate and defecate ok?
  4. Is my pet in pain often? Is pain adequately controlled with medication?
  5. Is my pet part of the family, or alone most of the time?
  6. Does my pet now become stressed or afraid when left alone?
  7. Does my pet continue to recognize me?
  8. Does my pet seem to enjoy interaction with other pets and family members?


  1. You know your pet best, and the decision regarding euthanasia (putting your pet 'to sleep') is always ultimately yours to make.
  2. Discuss your feelings with family members, friends, and your vet.
  3. Actively seek support groups or counseling if the sense of loss and grief is overwhelming.

Related Information:

More How To's from your Guide to Veterinary Medicine

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.