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Behavioral euthanasia is not about punishment
What is behavioral euthanasia?

Behavioral euthanasia refers to humanely ending an animal's life for behavior or quality of life concerns stemming from behavior. The animal may also have a medical issue or complication, but usually not. Usually, the animal is medically healthy; aside from their mind.

Behavioral euthanasia is considered a last resort when training has failed or the pet poses a large danger to themselves or others. Especially in the case of aggression, when a pet has bitten, attacked, or injured another pet or person, it is critical to discuss the safety of everyone in the home.

It may seem like a cruel decision, but it's important to remember that behavioral euthanasia is not about punishment, it's about relieving the pet's suffering and providing a safe home for yourself and your family members.

While a dog or cat may not be obviously suffering physically, they may:

  • Be suffering mentally and have a low quality of life due to the management requirements for their behavior.

  • Present a high bite risk towards humans or other pets in the home.

  • Present a high bite risk towards humans or other animals outside the home.


How do you deal with the guilt of behavioral euthanasia?

If feelings of guilt continue to overwhelm you, here are some suggestions to help cope:

  • Talk through your feelings with someone you trust.

  • When you start replaying events in your mind, remind yourself that you did what was best for your beloved pet.

  • Think about all the great things you gave your animal.

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