The chart was developed by experts at the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center and aims to help owners delve into their pets’ quality of life before making the gut-wrenching decision. The chart featured a linear scale with 26 points, ranging from strongly agree (all the time) to strongly disagree (never).
It combines physical and mental wellbeing to consider all aspects of a dog’s life from their favourite activities to sleep, symptoms and demeanour.
According to the Mirror, the chart ultimately decides whether the animal is happy and healthy enough to continue living or whether it is fighting to survive each day.
The document says: “It is important to remember that all pets are different. What may be considered a poor quality of life for one may be different for another.”
A higher number on the chart is equivalent to a better quality of life.
Therefore, a low number could indicate that it is time to speak to a vet about different options.
The chart also recommends marking good and bad days on the calendar and writing a list of three things your pet likes to do.
It is suggested that once your pet is no longer able to enjoy these things, and the bad days outweigh the good, it is time to discuss putting them down.
The chart called ‘How do I know when it’s time?’ includes statements like “My dog is sleeping more than usual” and “My dog is losing weight”.
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The chart includes the following statements which are marked on a scale of one to five.
- does not want to play
- does not respond to or does not interact with me in the same way as before
- does not enjoy the same activities as before
- is hiding
- demeanour/behaviour is not the same as it was prior to
- does not seem to enjoy life
- has more bad days than good days
- is sleeping more than usual
- seems dull and depressed
- seems to be or is experiencing pain
- is panting (even while resting)
- is trembling or shaking
- is vomiting and/or seems nauseous
- is not eating well (may only be eating treats or only if fed by hand)
- is not drinking well
- is losing weight
- is having diarrhoea often
- is not urinating well
- is not moving normally
- is not as active as normal
- does not move around as needed
- needs my help to move around normally
- is unable to keep self clean after soiling
- has coat that is greasy, matted or rough-looking
- How is my pet’s overall health compared to the initial diagnosis/illness?