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Assessing Your Dog’s Quality of Life and When to Consider Euthanasia

Dogs typically live between 7 and 12 years old before they pass away.


In their old age, they may be susceptible to certain diseases and have their bodies become less and less adaptable to extreme physical stress.


In times like these, you want to make sure that your pet is living its best life. You cannot prevent their eventual passing. But, you can ensure the quality of life in the years or months leading up to this eventuality.


By properly taking care of your ailing and aged dog, you can stem the grief resulting in their eventual death, consoling yourself in the knowledge that they lived well to the end of their days.



What can reduce the quality of life for your senior pet?

As your dog ages, so does its ability to perform certain activities. Medical afflictions are common with senior pets, with the deteriorating conditions often worsening over time.


Some of the most common ailments include:


1. Cardiovascular disease

Dogs often develop heart issues towards the end of their lives, which can affect the quality of their living in this period.


2. Blindness

As they grow older, senior pets will often lose the keenness of sight they had in their younger years.


3. Osteoarthritis

This weakness and degrading of the cartilage of the limb joint reduce the range of their locomotor activities.


How can you determine your dog's quality of life?

Many factors jointly determine your senior pet’s quality of living. However, the key aspects can be narrowed down into a handful of points, highlighted below:


Mobility

Mobility and locomotion range is a crucial determinant of how well your senior pet is living.


Sometimes, your pet may be unable to stand or walk without your assistance. At other times, mobility is limited to medical and drug intake, the chemical substances of which now permanently fuel the capacity for locomotor activity.


Respiration

Difficulty breathing is also a sure indicator of how well your senior pet lives. If they have bouts of wheezing and coughing, then you know it’s time to seek medical aid.


Hygiene

Senior pets with chronic afflictions may be unable to control their defecation or have bed sores from inactivity and lying down for too long.


Sometimes, they may need assistance with urinating and defecating


Hunger

Another way to observe how well your senior pet is doing is by noting their feeding patterns. As they age, their appetites often change, and you may have to hand-feed them or resort to feeding tubes to ensure they’re eating correctly.


It’s important to carry out a quality of life assessment for your dog, with institutions like River Valley Gateway prepared to help you with the professional secondary opinions required to take the big decision.



When is the right time to consider euthanasia?

Even if you’ve taken all the proper measures to ease their final days on earth, it can be saddening to watch your beloved pet struggle to move around and do essential things.


You’ll miss their hyperactivity, the furry bundles of joy, and the eventual departure is something to dread.


To help you through these troubled times, we provide in-home euthanasia services and cremation aftercare. Contact us today.

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