Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Wisdom to Help Make This Tough Decision for Your Pet by Donna John
My fur baby is 15 1/2 years old, and has started having health issues. Treatable health issues, but it has brought the realization to the forefront that not so long from now, she will cross over the Rainbow Bridge. It's hard to even think about. A recent post on The Incredible Dr. Pol Fan Page really helped me to quit obsessing over the fact that my beloved dog is well into her senior years.
The community member asked, "How do you know when it's time to let your fur baby cross the rainbow bridge?" The responses were heart-felt and abundant. If you've had to make this decision in the past or are facing it soon, I hope you draw some comfort and clarify from the wisdom below.
- "When they no longer have quality of life, when they have more bad days then good. Never let your pet suffer you have to do right by them." – Debbie R.
- "Look in their eyes. My last one, after a month doing subq fluids and feeding him with syringes several times a day, just pushed my hand away and wouldn't take anything." – Phyllis M.
- "I had to make this decision three times in 2019. I found something that helped. It said to write down 10 things your dog liked to do. Can be simple things like eat, jump on couch, chase ball. Then when he can’t do five, it’s time to start thinking about quality of life. I think it helped me because you stop thinking about how much you hurt and think of their life." – Tammy B.
- "Ask the vet if this were your pet what would you do? My vet is awesome he has always given the right, honest answer to me whether it was yes it's time or not yet we can do this instead." – Randall L.
- "I struggled with this recently. When the time came, I held my sweet girl while waiting for the vet. She pulled her tired body to my face, looked me in the eyes and licked my nose three times. And then I knew I had made the right choice." – Sandra T.
- "Ask yourself this, 'Am I keeping her/him alive for me or for him/her?' Remember, it is the QUALITY of life that matters, not the QUANTITY." – Penelope P.
- "Love them. Don't be selfish. Open your heart. The same love that made you say 'You are mine' is the same heart that will say 'It hurts so badly, but I must let you go.'" – Bladamiro H.
- "There is a time when you realize you're not 'prolonging their life,' you're 'prolonging their death." Try to act before that point. It's always hard." – Joyce W.
- "It’s only about the dog. No guilt. You do what’s best to ease suffering. People should be so lucky." – Meme N.
- "It’s the hardest decision you have ever had to make but, it’s the best at the same time. Your heart will let you know when it’s time for you to let them cross the Rainbow Bridge. You can’t let your babies suffer." – Carolyn R.
- "My vet says when the quality of life is gone, then it's time." – Mary H.
- "When they have more bad days than good. You can usually see it in their eyes when they want to go." – Jillian G.
- "Remember dogs are not afraid of death. They have no conception of mortality. Part of taking care of our beloved pets is to also let them go." – Judy F.
- "Your pet will tell you if you will listen and look for the signs. I'd rather a day too early than a day too late with more pain for them." – Kathryn D.
- "It is the hardest decision to make ever, but I always put my animals before my feelings. Think about what their life should be verses what is now is. Try to keep your feelings out of it. Then decide." – Julie I.
- "Talk to your vet, explain your feelings. Dogs unlike humans do not think of death as we do. But what ever you do, please stay with your dog when he is taking his last breath. It may be hard, but we owe them that last minute to be with them." – Barb E.
- "It has to be all about THEM ! They are gifts that we can never repay no matter how hard we try. They spend their life making us happy, the least we can do is help them continue to make us happy as they, FOR THEM , cross The Rainbow Bridge into peace. I was blessed to hold our Little Gift while she went to the land of peace over the rainbow." – Janice L.
For more helpful advice, read 10 Signs Your Dog May Be Ready to Cross the Rainbow Bridge.
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"Ask the vet if this were your pet what would you do?" - Our vet gave us the feedback we needed.
"Your pet will tell you if you will listen and look for the signs." - We found this to be true. She was telling us it was her time.
"When they no longer have quality of life, when they have more bad days then good. Never let your pet suffer you have to do right by them." - Amen.
God bless all the amazing pets that make our lives so much better!