When is it time to say goodbye?

When your pet’s health is declining, the toughest question to answer is: “When is it time to say goodbye?

It may be easy for others, including your vet. But it is most difficult for you, the pet owner, not only for emotional reasons, but also because you see your pet every single day. Others don’t. So it’s difficult to be objective about the situation.

Here is a nice little trick that can help you make the most difficult decision of your life. I just read about it in a recent issue of Veterinary Medicine, a professional magazine.*

Old Lab face
You need a bunch of coins and 2 jars or 2 glasses. Label one container “good days” and the other “bad days.” Any type of coin will do, but using the same denomination will help make things even more unbiased.

At the end of each day, ask yourself if today was a good day or a bad day for your pet, and drop a coin in the corresponding jar.

When the number of coins in the “bad days” jar exceeds the other one, you should seriously consider euthanasia.

This is a simple way to make a very emotional decision a little bit more objective.

2 jars with coins

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling veterinary surgeon in Pennsylvania & New Jersey. An award-winning author, he loves to share his adventures in practice along with information about vet medicine and surgery that can really help your pets. Dr. Zeltzman specializes in orthopedic, neurologic, cancer, and soft tissue surgeries for dogs, cats, and small exotics. By working with local family vets, he offers the best surgical care, safest anesthesia, and utmost pain management to all his patients. Sign up to get an email when he updates his blog, and follow him on Facebook, too!