When is it Time to Say Goodbye to our Beloved Pet…
3 October, 2011

My sister had to say goodbye to her beloved Cat, Cosmo, yesterday. It was a very sad, emotional day for all of us. I write this article with a heavy heart, but know that Cosmo is in a better place.

Cosmo was seventeen years old so he lived a very long life. The last few months had been trying. Cosmo developed kidney failure and started to lose weight. However, he still had a spark to him and was playful. He was eating and seemingly happy. But, over time, his condition dissipated and he started to lose a lot of weight. He was very bony. We had to be so careful when we pet him.

My sister was hoping that Cosmo wasn’t in pain and wondering if she was keeping him alive for her sake or for his. And, then one day, he stopped eating. And he wasn’t himself. When my sister went to pet him, he didn’t purr and barely responded. She knew it was time to say goodbye.

Ironically, the next morning he died in his sleep. She was so upset, but knew he was finally at peace.

Bye, bye our beloved, Cosmo.

I know other pet owners have had to deal with this issue and thought I would do some research and give advice on how you know when it is time to say goodbye.

Your pet stops eating

If your pet stops eating and/or can’t digest his food, this is a sign that he is not doing well.

Pain and suffering


You can tell when your pet is suffering. Usually, the light goes out of his or her eyes, he doesn’t run around, curls up in a ball and sleeps the day away. Favorite toys and treats are left untouched. Some pets even become irritable.

Sometimes, pain medicine will help and can often give your pet a new lease on life. And, of course, there are those animals that are happy to limp around the house for years on a bad leg – or having lost a leg or an eye – unaware that they have a problem.

But when your animal can no longer enjoy life because of pain, it’s probably time to let them go.

Exhausting the options

You owe it to yourself and your pet to exhaust all the options (if your pet isn’t suffering terribly). However, don’t be lured in by claims of miracle cures. If surgery or medication isn’t the answer, try acupuncture or massage. There are many holistic practitioners out there who tend to be more interested in helping your pet than making money. At least, this has been my experience.

There are also some charities that may be able to help with the finances. Your vet may be able to recommend someone to give you a bit of assistance.

Ability to cope

Physically, emotionally and financially, having to deal with a very ill or elderly pet is draining. It may get to the point where you really can’t take it anymore and have no one to help you. If you know there is nothing further you can do to help your pet, it may be time to make the decision. If you try to soldier on, your pet will pick up on your negative energy, which will only make his or her last days unhappy.

Even with all of our knowledge, putting your pet down is an extremely difficult decision. However, only you know when it is time. And, remember, cats and dogs don’t fear death like we do. All they want is to be happy and pain free. Therefore, it is up to us to have the courage to help them die in peace.

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