EWTN Catholic Q&A
Dying Dog
Question from Tony Kramer on 12-20-2016:

We have a 8 year old dog who came down with some sort of disease and she appears to be dying. We have a 10 year old boy who loves her very much. WE took dog to vet and they have options but we can't really afford them. She isn't eating or drinking well and is getting dehydrated so we brought her back yesterday and they rehydrated her in anticipation of euthanizing her. My delema they said she currently isn't suffering much so if I euthanizer her what will my son think later or ask why didn't you let her die naturally maybe she would have lived another two weeks? I want to do the right moral thing so they have something to reflect on in the future and we have explained animals aren't the same as humans.

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 02-16-2017:

The reason we euthanize animals but not human beings is to prevent their suffering. Human beings can integrate suffering into the meaning of life, especially if Christians, animals can only experience its pain.

Therefore it is humane to put a pet "to sleep" when it is clear that there can be no relief to their pain except by death. You should make your decision in light of that, with due consideration for your son's feelings; of course, being sympathetic and providing an account of the reasons why you ultimately had to do it.