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  • Writer's pictureIN STRIDE

When is it time to let my pet go?


While it is never easy, end of life decisions are one of the most important jobs we can have as a pet owner. Choosing a death with dignity can be one of the most compassionate gifts that you can give your animal.⁠

In this blog post, we are going to go over how to refocus on objective measures, how to assess our limitations, and how to help our pet have their best last day.


⁠It can be hard to make a decision during an emotional time. To help, consider trying to shift your focus to something objective. An objective measurement tool can help take your focus off the emotion and just look at the "cold hard facts" of the situation at hand.

Our top tips are to:

1) keep a journal: write plainly what is going on with your animal today. Rate where your at the top of the page on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the worst, 10 being the best.) I recommend looking at several different "quality" metrics by assessing sense of appetite, ability to get comfortable, bathroom habits, pain, sense of joy in daily routine, and etc.

2) keep 2 jars on the counter: label two jars and put them on a visible counter top. If your pet has a "GOOD" day, put a penny in the GOOD day jar. If your pet has a "BAD" day, put a penny in the BAD day jar. In those moments where you begin to feel emotional and conflicted about your pet's status, look up at your jars on the counter top and count your pennies.

3) take a QOL survey: online you can find several quality of life surveys. These surveys usually ask a series of questions and have you add your numbers up to a total. Below is a resource of a 24 metric survey that we commonly give to our clients


Every person has their breaking point, the question is: where is your line in the sand? There are several different limitations one should consider⁠:

1) Physically: what can I handle?

With a large breed dog, this is one of the more pragmatic conversations you should start with.

If you have a large dog, can you realistically aid them with their mobility?

Will you physically hurt yourself should you try to aid them?

Will you need to take time away from work in order to aid them?

2) Financially: what can I handle?

With an aging pet, expenses can add up fast. It's important to consider your financial resources.

If my pet needs more expensive diagnostic tests, what is my financial limit?

If my pet needs emergent care, what is my financial limit?

If my pet needs ongoing medical care, what is my financial limit?

3) Emotionally: what can I handle?

With a pet with decreased mobility or low quality of life, it's important to assess what your pet needs and what they can no longer do.

If my pet doesn't enjoy their food anymore, how long am I willing to see them not eat?

If my pet can't get comfortable, how long am I willing to watch them struggle to rest?

If my pet cannot go to the restroom, am I willing to help them void their bowels/ empty their bladder?

If my pet needs me to administer meds multiple times per day, am I willing to take time away from my work to adhere to my pet's schedule?


Letting your pet go is one of the most compassionate gifts you can give your animal. If you decide that it is time to let go, consider spending one last BEST day with your animal. If there's a place your pet likes to go or an activity they love to do, block off your day and spend your day with your pet and enjoy it together

It's always better to have a BEST last day instead of unexpectedly having to let go without having the chance to properly say goodbye.

Some ideas for your pet's BEST last day:

-end of life photoshoot

-picnic in the park or on the beach

-share an ice cream cone or hamburger

-go to the pet store and pick out a special treat

-book a session with an animal intuitive

-pamper them with a spa day (massage, lavender bath, etc)

In summary, I hope this blog post gave you some ideas on how to assess if it's the right time to let go of your beloved companion. It's helpful to utilize objective measurement tools and to take inventory of your own personal limitations.

It's never an easy decision, but it's our duty as pet owner to give our pets a death with dignity. We can help them enjoy their last golden moments with us by celebrating them their BEST last day.



We operate in full compliance with all laws and regulations. Our services are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any specific illness or condition and should only be used as a complement to routine veterinary and/or medical care. Chiropractic may provide support and encourage the body into its most optimal state of health. The content provided herein is informational only and is not to be construed as medical advice.


I want to let you know you came to the right place for integrative and holistic health for your pet!

We are certified by the AVCA which is a top notch and rigorous certification program of 200+ hours class time followed by a written and practical board exam. We take 10 yearly hours of continuing education because we value knowing the most in order to provide the best.

When choosing adjustments for your pet, choose someone licensed, trained, and certified.

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