Having a dog at home is always a pleasant experience for you and your entire family.
And not long after, your dog will soon start to feel like a member of the family.
However, circumstances may arise that might force you to question whether it’s time to let your furry friend go.
As you get older, your body will soon start to decline and you might find it difficult to do certain activities that used to be a breeze for you.
The same thing happens to dogs.
Conditions such as aging or illness might cause your dog’s body to deteriorate and they may become limited in what they can do or will lose some certain body functions such as sight and hearing.
- Is it cruel/ selfish to keep them alive?
- Is it possible to measure and better their quality of life in these conditions?
You’ll find answers to the above questions in this article.
Is It Cruel To Keep A Blind And Deaf Dog Alive?
If you go on any dog lovers or pet owners forum, you’ll notice there’s lots of controversy surrounding putting your dog to sleep or euthanizing your dog.
Some argue that sentiments aside, if the dog is not as fulfilled as it once was, then that’s the best thing to do while others say putting your dog to sleep is itself a cruel thing to do.
Both these arguments are completely valid and agreeable.
But when it comes down to it, it’s not as simple as it might seem and it falls to you the owner to decide what the best option might be for your dog.
Here are a few factors for you to consider:
Caring for a dog can be quite difficult. Even though they are a source of joy to any family, you should consider the cost of taking care of a healthy dog.
These costs or expenses include feeding, visits to the vet, vaccinations, insurance, and other expenses that may arise.
Now with so much accumulated cash used in taking care of a dog at the prime of its life, think about how much more expensive it would be taking care of a physically challenged pet.
2. Quality of life
Another factor that should be considered, is the quality of life of your pet.
For humans, oftentimes (especially now with modern technology) you can be in your 70s and still be able to enjoy much of what life has to offer.
The same thing, however, can’t be said of dogs especially one that has lost most of its senses e.g hearing and sight.
They’ll be very limited in what they can do, and they might not be able to do the things they once enjoyed such as chasing after squirrels.
Not being able to live life to the fullest is sure to get anyone down, your dog isn’t any different.
3. Emotional state
Like we’ve already mentioned, when the quality of life of your dog has been lowered due to physical challenges, your dog is more prone to mental health issues such as depression.
Other dog owners have even reported that their dogs started to get aggressive when faced with physical challenges or limitations.
So your pet’s emotional state is something that should be considered as well.
4. Other factors
Your family members or whoever is the primary caregiver of your dog should also be put into consideration.
Members of the family can feel frustrated and upset having to see their beloved family pet suffer or be physically challenged.
Plus the time and emotional capacity needed to provide effective care for them can be extremely strenuous.
How Can You Determine A Dog’s Quality Of Life?
Of course, to many people, none of these things matter so these factors are considered subjective.
But, just because the owners are ok caring for their disabled dog doesn’t mean it’s always the right thing to do.
People who have at some point in time considered euthanizing their dog have often heard the vet bring up “quality of life”.
But what is the quality of life?
Quality of life is the basics of life that makes Living enjoyable. It is the basic standard of health, happiness, and comfort which are all essential in ensuring a fulfilled life.
Ideally, to measure a dog’s quality of life, it Should be the owners (those that know him best) that would be able to determine if a dog is happy or suffering.
But some signs could go unnoticed, that’s why a visit to the vet can help you determine your dog’s quality of life.
Here are some signs that your dog’s quality of life might be low and your dog is suffering:
- Whimpering or moaning in pain
- Unusual aggressive behavior
- Reluctance to do the things they once enjoyed doing
- Usually sleeps all day (lethargy)
- Loss of appetite
- Apathetic towards owners etc.
What Is Required To Care For A Blind And Deaf Dog?
Caring for a blind and deaf dog can be difficult as we’ve already established.
But if the vet ascertains that your dog is not in any distress and you’re willing to go on caring for them, then here are some simple requirements:
- You must be patient
- Create a routine and stick to it
- Be consistent
- Create a safe environment for your physically challenged dog
- Don’t startle your dog
- Avoid grooming their whiskers
- Continue to make their life as enjoyable as possible.
Many blind and deaf dogs still manage to have a very fulfilling life and as long as you’re up for it, it can be a very rewarding experience for you both.