Vet Sparks Debate: Never Leave Your Pet During Euthanasia

Nose of a sleeping Irish Setter dog

(Picture Credit: Wavetop / Getty Images)

Our pets are part of the family, and the decision to euthanize can be a difficult one. Watching a beloved pet grow old or sick is hard, but watching them leave this world is even harder.

Because of this, many people choose to leave their pet before the euthanasia. However, there has been a rising debate about the ethics of leaving your pet during euthanasia. While some insist that it’s too hard to stay with their dogs, others have fired back saying that it’s the least you can do for your pet in their final moments.

The argument reached a head when a veterinarian shared their opinion.

The Thing Vets Won’t Tell You

Many vets agree that it’s not their place to tell people to stay. However, one veterinarian penned an open letter to all pet owners.

In a Facebook post, the vet pleaded with people not to leave their pets. They explained that while your pet might be a large part of your life, you’re the center of their world. These sick and dying pets don’t understand why you left them, and they spend their last moments searching for their beloved person.

This post has gone viral and sparked heated arguments among many users. Some argue that it’s not the vet’s place to demand such things, while others have taken the vet’s side.

What To Do If Staying Is Too Hard

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Tomo McLoyd holds the paw of her dog Rocky, 14, as veterinarian Wendy McCulloch euthanizes the pet at their apartment on May 9, 2012 in New York City. McLoyd had made the difficult decision to call McCulloch to perform the procedure after the pet could no longer walk. End of life issues have become increasingly important for pet owners, as advanced medical treatments and improved nutrition are extending pets lives well into old age. McCulloch runs Pet Requiem, a home veterinary service designed to provide geriatric care and in-home euthanasia for dying pets in the New York and New Jersey area. Many pet owners are choosing such in-home care to try and provide a humane and compassionate "good death" for their beloved pets.

(Picture Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

In cases like these, it’s up to the individual to decide what’s right. If you believe in remaining by your pet’s side, the best thing you can do is just that. Stay by your pet in their final moments, and provide comfort however you can.

For those who find it too difficult, there are other options. Many vets have stepped forward and said that they are honored to comfort pets in their final moments, and will do so if their owners cannot. You can also ask the vet to sedate your pet first, so you can be with them until they fall asleep.

Close friends and family members can also stay behind if it’s too hard, giving your pet a familiar face to take comfort in.

What’s your opinion? Did you choose to stay by a pet during their last moments, or was it too difficult? Drop a comment below and share your story.

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