Create a list of your pet’s unique qualities. Your pet is a very special individual with its own special customs. These are a few general ideas to help you get started on your own list:
Playing with other pets
Greeting you at the door
Playing with toys or chasing a ball
Wanting to go for walks
Scratching on a post or rubbing your legs
Barking at a neighbor or UPS man
Purring when petted
Hunting mice in the pasture or barn
Eating enthusiastically or love for specific treats
As your pet’s age or disease progresses and these qualities fade, mark them off the list. Decide early on how you can use these as a guide to help determine your pets quality of life.
Keep a good day/bad day calendar. Evaluate what a good day would be for your pet, and also what a bad day looks like. Each evening, recall the day and decide if it was a good or bad day, marking the calendar with a happy or a sad face. Decide how many bad days in a row occur before quality is compromised. You also can use a marble jar for this same purpose. For each good day, a marble is placed in a jar. For every bad day, a marble is removed from the jar.
Keep a journal. Sometimes it can be helpful to keep a regular record of events in your and your pet’s life. This will help you look back and reflect on changes that occur and how your life is affected.