It is only natural to want to avoid asking the question, “Is your dog is ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge”?Realizing that your beloved dog has reached old age is never easy.
After spending many years with them, you eventually have to accept that you must say goodbye. At some point, it has to be done. There is no way to avoid it. The closer your canine companion approaches the rainbow bridge, the more difficult it will be for you to face the inevitable.
Many people feel the need to hang on for as long as their beloved dog’s health will allow. But, sometimes, you have to stop prioritizing what you want and start looking into what your dog needs.
Answering the Query “Is Your Dog
Ready To Cross The Rainbow Bridge?” Needs Objectivity
It is understandable for you to want to extend your pet’s life for as long as possible. But if you truly love your dog, you must not allow them to go through unnecessary suffering. This is why an objective assessment or evaluation of a dying or very senior dog should be done.
In this situation, objectivity is the best means of determining your dog’s current quality of life. This is usually done in comparison to when they were younger and stronger.
Or, it can be compared to their quality of life before they contracted the ailment that caused them to become weak and ill. Being objective about it will not lessen the pain, but it will make your difficult decision more loving and humane.
Objectivity Checklist To Help Answer The Question, Is Your Dog Ready to Cross The Rainbow Bridge?
For dog owners living with a senior or sick dog, there are specific questions about their health and well being that you must ask daily. These questions will allow you to assess your dog’s quality of life. It helps you determine whether your dog is still able and willing to fight the good fight or if there’s a need for you and the vet to intervene.
Here are the questions.
- Has my dog’s appetite decreased dramatically?
- Is my dog still capable of hydrating on their own?
- Is my dog less active than yesterday, or the day before?
- Have I noticed my dog manifesting symptoms of severe arthritis?
- Has my dog become incontinent?
- How much weight has my dog lost?
- Does my dog’s coat still look healthy?
- Is my dog still interested in human interaction?
- Is my dog still interested in any physical activities?
- Has my dog become restless?
- Has my dog’s vocal ability been irreparably compromised?
Your Honest Response to Those Queries Will Help You Make the Right Decision for Your Dog
Your answers to these questions will help you to assess your dog’s quality of life. Is it good enough to stay with you longer or is it time to let them go? Is your dog in pain and is it more than you can realistically control and keep him comfortable?
If you are happy with the answers to those queries, then perhaps your dog’s quality of life is worth fighting to maintain. However, if most of your answers are on the negative side, it might be time to anticipate the inevitable.
No, it will not be easy. But the sooner you accept that fact of life, the better. Coming to this understanding helps you to better enjoy your dog’s last days. Also, when you must make a major decision, it is better done with objectivity.
And, you want to be in your best state of mind at that time. Having a plan in place helps you to remain as calm as possible under the conditions. A plan based on facts, instead of emotion, helps you make the best decision for your dog.
Will you wait for your beloved dog to expire naturally or choose to have them undergo canine euthanasia? Both of these options serve a certain purpose. It is up to you to decide.
Some people do better when in control of bad situations rather than being caught off guard. Not everyone is good at making a snap decision. If you choose to euthanize your dog, you may wish to have a family member or close friend there to support you.
It also helps if you have already made a decision regarding burial plans before you need them. Your vet should be able to inform you of your options and help you decide what is best for you and your family.
On a personal note…..when we lost our Mick we had to answer the same question, “Is Your Dog Ready for the Rainbow Bridge?” and it was hard.
We recently lost a precious, furry member of the family, Mick. Rescued by our daughter when only a few weeks old, Mick had been with our family 14 years. He was finally starting to show serious signs of aging.
Over a period of just a few days, he began to sleep more and eat less. His arthritis seemed to bother him a little bit more but there did not appear to be true pain involved.
When The Time Finally Arrived
When we noticed it was taking more effort than usual to rouse him and his eyes seemed dimmer, we knew his time was near. We called our vet and made an appointment to have him chemically assisted across the Rainbow Bridge.
Our daughter spent some quality time with him as we waited until it was time to leave for the final trip to the vet. Fortunately for Mick, and for us, he quietly passed over that Bridge not long before it would have been time to carry him to the car for his last ride.
After sitting quietly with him for a while, she buried him in the front pasture with his animal friends who had gone on before him. A close friend offered to help her dig his grave but she insisted on doing that last thing for Mick herself.
I am so proud of her. The entire day for painful for her. However, she putMick’s needs first and was with him until the end. After 14 years of being a dear friend, she did not allow him to die alone.
Here is another story dealing with assessing a senior dog’s health. https://happymutt.org/the-dog-with-dementia-named-cricket/
Photo of the Scale of Justice courtesy of Pixabay