Owner Experience and the Choice to Euthanize

Rute Canejo-Teixeira, Isabel Neto, Luís V. Baptista, Maria M. R. E. Nizaa

Abstract


The human-dog relationship has change significantly over the decades, with the dog now frequently being considered a member of the family, but it still falls to the human to grantee the dog’s well-being, both legally and morally. One of the decisions required of a dog owner is when, and if, to euthanize an animal.  It has been suggested that chronic illness, financial considerations and behaviour issues may predispose a dog to euthanasia. Through the use of questionnaires administered to dog owners, this study evaluated possible connections between reported canine health issues and owner choice to euthanize. Owners were asked if they had cared for at least one dog with chronic illness, that suffered a trauma (vehicular or otherwise), had been hospitalized, if their dog had bitten a person or an animal and if they had ever euthanized a dog. Contrasting with some previous reports, no association was found between any of the issues investigated and euthanasia. It is possible that the voluntary nature of this study may have introduced a bias, attracting owners with higher educational and economical status, which may make them more reluctant to euthanize their dog. In any case, more studies are required to clarify this issue.


Keywords


euthanasia; dog; owner; dyad; relationship.

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References


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