At some point, we find ourselves wondering when the time will come to release your animal from their body. We notice that they have difficulty moving around, are incontinent, or aren’t eating like they used to. Or we hear terms like senior, old, cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease or congestive heart failure from our veterinarian. When we see a decline in our beloved animal or get a dire-sounding diagnosis, that thought creeps into our consciousness – Is it time to release our animal from their body?

Indications of pain

Not moving as much or at all can indicate pain. I’m mentioning this because I didn’t realize my dog Missy was in a lot of pain when she stopped walking and eating. I thought it was time to release her from her body. But pain medication made all the difference!

Additionally, sharp meows, growling, snapping or moving away when you touch a spot on your pet’s body can also indicate pain.

I finally “put 2 + 2 together” about my cat, Bunnie. She always seemed to be frowning, and I assumed she was a naturally grumpy cat. But she also gave an irritated “meow!” when I tried to pet her lower back. Yes, she was grumpy, but, at her core, she was in pain! When we addressed her pain, the frown relaxed.

Many times, if you can alleviate their pain, you refresh their joy of living. And they live longer!

Alternative modalities

With pain, mobility and chronic diseases, you might want to look into alternative modalities. Here are the few I’m familiar with.

  • Acupuncture – We used acupuncture for my cat Bunnie’s lower back pain. It relaxed her muscles and increased circulation. She started playing again.
  • Chiropractic – Bringing the spine back into alignment may help mobility and decrease pain.
  • Massage therapy – I have been doing this for my dogs for many years. I’ve found it decreases pain, increases circulation and improves mobility. Plus we really bond! The cats let me gently massage the neck muscles next to the spine, but that’s about it.
  • Herbal medicines – Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western herbal medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and Homeopathy could provide alternative treatments for chronic conditions.
  • CBD (a cannabinoid that does not get you or your pet high) – can be a natural pain reliever (osteoarthritis in dogs), decrease anxiety and increase appetite. Has shown promise in people with cancer and seizures.

Listen to Veterinarian Dr. Kocen talk about alternative therapies


Don’t forget something basic as food. Improving the diet can be a great help in supporting their body’s health. I’m no expert but here’s the goal -provide sustenance as close to what they would eat in the wild. Holistic veterinarians may be able to provide more advice in this area.

Oh, yeah, and Animal Communication

If you’re wondering about pain, a good communicator can help you pinpoint where the pain is, describe it (sharp, dull, achy, etc.) as well tell you as how much pain they feel. This way, you and your veterinarian can adjust their pain meds.

We can also ask your animal how they feel after treatment or whether the course of herbal medication is helping. We can find out whether your animal wants to continue with their life or to let go of their body.

Want to find out how your pet feels? Book a session!


Note: I’m not a veterinarian just sharing my experience and research. Please do your own research to discover if you have other options before you put your pet down.