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'Remember quality of life' when deciding to put down a pet

Thursday, 20th September 2012

It is important to remember your pet's quality of life when making the decision to put them to sleep, a vet has said.

Caroline Reay, chief vet at the Blue Cross, said that the prospect of putting down a pet is horrible but many owners will have to face this decision at some point.

She said that it can be difficult to let go and while we may fear losing them, it is very important to consider the animal's feelings.

Dr Reay noted that while older animals will eat less pet food, if they have completely stopped eating their quality of life needs to be questioned.

"Pain is the thing we fear most but there are other things which are important. Struggling to breathe may not be painful but it’s certainly unpleasant and frightening," Dr Reay said.

"No one enjoys feeling poorly or nauseous, especially if prolonged. We choose to have pets and have a responsibility to give them the best possible life."

People who are currently struggling with this decision can access the charity’s Pet Bereavement Support Service.