Journeys Quality-of-Life Scale

Euthanasia is a difficult and emotionally fraught decision for any pet owner. Ensure you’re making an informed decision by consulting with this test to determine your pet’s current quality of life.

Quality-of-Life Scale at SmartVet

While euthanasia is chosen out of mercy, before making this decision, it’s crucial to first understand if your pet’s condition has become truly unmanageable. We recommend consulting the Journeys Quality-of-Life Scale to determine the most compassionate course of action for your pet.

a vet checking heart of the dog

JOURNEYS Quality-of-Life Scale

Dr. Katie Hilst developed this Quality-of-Life Scale after having hundreds of conversations with pet owners on the decision to humanely euthanize their pets. Sometimes, after the discussion, people realized that their pet was still enjoying life. Other times, people realized their pet was suffering more than they were aware of, so they chose the final act of caring.

In either case, the JOURNEYS scale is meant to get you thinking about the factors that affect your pet’s happiness and sense of well-being. While there are no hard and fast rules, in general, a higher score is better. A score of 80 is a happy, healthy pet. A score of 8 is a pet that is suffering. A low score on any of the individual parts may also be a reason to consider euthanasia. Please use this as a starting place to explore your pet’s quality of life and address your concerns with our veterinarians.

Please use this link to download the JOURNEYS scale in PDF format. The PDF version includes detailed examples of the possible numerical scores. You may want to print the document and use it to facilitate a conversation with family members.

J – Jumping & Mobility

O – Ouch or Pain

U – Uncertainty & Understanding

R – Respiration & Breathing

N – Neatness & hygiene

E – Eating & Drinking

Y – You

S – Social Ability

Veterinary Services in Normal, IL

Canine Wellness Care

Feline Wellness Care
Pet Dentistry
Pet Digital X-Rays
Pet Chiropractic Care
Pet Laser Therapy

Pet Veterinary Pharmacy

Pet Microchipping

Pet Euthanasia

Pet Vaccinations

Pet Surgery

Pet Ultrasound

Pet Quality-of-Life Scale

Pet After Care Options

Pet Euthanasia Appointment