by ANDREW M. STREIBER

by ANDREW M. STREIBER, DVM

Q:  Sadly, I believe my family and I are nearing the end of our beloved dog’s long, happy, love-filled life.  He is showing all the signs of aging – graying beard, increased sleeping, difficulty rising on his hind limbs, less exercise tolerant and weight loss – but the signs seem especially accelerated over the past several months.  How does one know exactly the right time to help transition their four-legged family member onto the Rainbow Bridge?

A:  This is a very difficult, question.  Knowing when to say goodbye to your beloved canine or feline companion is one of the most agonizing decisions any pet owner may consider.  People, wanting to give their pet the very best of everything, combined with not being ready to let their pet pass, may unintentionally keep an animal alive too long.  Just as compelling a concern is making the decision too early.  It’s not easy.

Consider the following: what is your pet’s quality of life?  Does it have more good days than bad, or is the opposite true.  Additionally, how is your pet’s quality of life ultimately impacting your family’s quality of life, and you?  These questions and the thoughtfulness they provoke are the best guidelines to help a pet owner decide on the right time to say goodbye to their loyal companion.