"When is it Time?"
While there is often no magical answer to such a difficult question, you are not alone in finding the best answer for your beloved friend. Your family veterinarian and Circle of Life for Pets are here to help guide you through this time. You may find an in-home quality of life consultation helpful to help you work through some factors in this decision. You may also find the links below helpful to deeply consider and assess your pet's quality of life.
Caring for your pet at life's end is an extension of your loving care throughout their life. Your companion trusts that you will help in the same loving way you have previously, and to consider what is in their best interest.
Many pets' bodies are no longer serving them adequately toward the end of life. This is not a failure of medicine or care, but rather a natural process that we must navigate.
It is also worthwhile to note that the veterinary oath includes dedication to "the prevention and relief of animal suffering". Because our pets are domesticated animals dependent on humans for their care and wellbeing, pet families have this responsibility also. Considering euthanasia during a decline in health, rather than at the very end, is consistent with this oath. It can allow us to say goodbye on terms that are more peaceful and prevent our pets from experiencing worse conditions.
Helpful links to help assess and monitor life quality: