The End-Of-Life Walk – Euthanasia or Natural Death

By Coleen Ellis

The guilt of euthanasia. Every day I visit with loving pet parents who are either still reeling from making the decision for their precious pet, or are still questioning if their decision was the right decision. I hear from some pet parents who are facing that walk right now, questions of “how will I know it’s time?” or statements from well-meaning professionals such as “you’ll know. Your pet will tell you.”

Bottom line, this is a personal decision, a decision for loving pet parents that comes with prayer, reflection, research, and much, much more.

If you are a pet parent who is being faced with making this decision, or one who is looking at an elderly pet knowing THAT decision is right around the corner, I want to give you some permission. And, I want to turn to all of our veterinary professionals with this plea as well. Give us ALL of our options when it comes to the end-of-life walk with our pets.

I know as a loving pet parent, I also want to have the option of natural death for my pet love. I want to have this discussion of my pet’s end-of-life walk as a collaborative discussion, versus just one option to consider. I want to be asked “how do I see the end-of-life journey” with my pet. Let’s talk about it together, and give me options. I understand that in some situations, natural death might not be the most loving decision and option, but tell me that too. Help me understand disease progression or even palliative care options to keep my Big Guy comfortable and give me all of the time we can have together. If we are at a point that cure is no longer an option, let’s together move to care for him. As pet parents, we want to eek out every possible minute we can with our loves. Help us do that! Because, at the heart of all of this, I want to know I did all I could as a loving, caring pet mommy.

Click here to learn how to make a Bucket List for your pet companion!

2018-04-09T23:40:21+00:00February 28th, 2018|Austin, blog, Dallas, Hampton Roads, Melbourne, Miami, Tampa|3 Comments


  1. Deborah Anuswith April 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    I had to make the decision to let my best friend shadow go a little over a month ago. He was my anchor in this world after having breast cancer, my children moving on,knee replacement surgery on both knees and my husband traveling for work. I always had him with me and now I feel such a big whole in my heart that I don’t feel like doing much of anything. Hopefully my sharing how bad I feel will let someone else know that they are not alone. Maybe someone will have a couple of ideas for how to stop hurting so much every day.

  2. Geraldine Marsh April 8, 2018 at 4:47 am - Reply

    Deborah, hope you find solace knowing that your beloved Shadow will be with you forever , in your ❤ and the beautiful memories he lived by your side throughout the years. Honored his life by mourning his loss but @ the same time by understanding he would have love seeing you strong in this new chapter without him. As a cancer survivor myself, I can understand why this is so devastating, I lost my beloved dog Duke last week😔😢, but the resilience that cancer thought to us has to help you to find the strength again to keep on going. My heart goes out to you. 🌹

  3. Katrina Smallwood April 21, 2018 at 11:17 am - Reply

    I completely understand the pain your going through it’s agony that seems to never end! He wouldn’t want this for you.
    Remember all of the good times and I know most wouldnt do what I’m about to suggest, but believe me I have been here before and believe for you in your particular situation that you should give another dog that is in desperate need the kind of love you can and have given to your beloved pet.
    You will not be replacing your pet but making room to love another that at this moment might not have had this love from someone else.
    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers

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