Although heartbreaking, dog euthanasia is sometimes the best option for your pet.
Laying down your dog is never easy, but doing some research before the sad day can help you understand everything a little better.
Should I Put My Dog Down?
It’s the decision no one ever wants to make, but if your dog’s quality of life is suffering from no signs of improvement, putting your dog to sleep may be the best option. It’s a very difficult choice. On the one hand, you want to spend as long as possible with your boyfriend, on the other hand, you want to make the right decision for him.
You usually have some time to think. We always recommend talking to family and friends and consulting your veterinarian while doing so. While you and your family can determine if your dog is behaving uncharacteristically or appears to be having problems, your veterinarian has a good idea of how this is affecting the quality of life. Take into account your pet’s mobility, appetite, breathing, comfort, toilet habits, mental performance, happiness, and response to treatment. If you experience any of these issues, contact your veterinarian.
Ultimately, the decision to put your dog to sleep is yours, but remember that sometimes the friendliest, most responsible decision is to let them go, especially if they suffer if they keep going.
The decision to put your dog to sleep is a difficult one for the whole family, especially children. If you can, try to sit down as a family and discuss the decision together. Be honest about your reasons and what it means for everyone, including your beloved pet. It will be an exciting conversation, of course, and tears may result, but try to focus on what is best for your dog – after all, you want to be doing all right for him.
In the days and weeks that follow your dog’s loss, try to focus on the good times – all of those wonderful walks, the games you played, and the happiness you gave each other.
What does dog euthanasia include?
Prepare yourself and your dog
There is a good reason why dog euthanasia is also known as “putting a dog to sleep”. It is a very peaceful procedure and will help you die with as little pain and distress as possible.
- If your dog is distressed or upset, they can be given a mild sedative first to help them relax.
- The drug is usually given through a vein in the dog’s foreleg, and your veterinarian may insert a “line” or catheter into the vein first.
- Your veterinarian will give a measured overdose of a drug, similar to an anesthetic, which will put your dog into a deep and lasting “sleep”.
- A vet is usually in the room to help the vet, and you should also be able to stay anywhere if you want to pet or cuddle your dog while he drifts away.
- It doesn’t take long for them to slide off gently, and most importantly, they shouldn’t be in pain.
- Depending on the circumstances, your veterinarian may agree to leave your dog at home. In this case, he will travel to your home and perform the procedure there.
After saying goodbye to your dog
What happens next?
You have a number of options of what happens after your dog is euthanized and that too is a decision that you as a family would like to make.
You can take your dog home after the procedure and bury it at home yourself, or have it buried or cremated in a pet cemetery. Keep in mind, however, that some councils do not allow home burials, or at least require that you ask for permission. So speak to your local authority or ask your veterinarian for advice before making your final decision.
Alternatively, you can ask your veterinarian to arrange the cremation. After that, you can ask the vet to handle the ashes, or set them aside for you to collect and disperse, or to keep for yourself. If you choose to collect their ashes there will be an additional cost. Ask your vet to confirm these before making your choice.
Manage your loss
Getting your dog to sleep is heartbreaking, and losing this family member inevitably leads to a sense of loss. Grief is perfectly normal – you’ve just said goodbye to a loved one, and everyone in the family has their own way of saying goodbye.
You can take some time off, especially if you have children who are struggling to adjust. Supporting one another as a family can aid the healing process. If you are about to euthanize your dog, remember that this was the best decision for him to make. They helped alleviate their suffering and relieve them of poor quality of life. You also allowed them to die painlessly and with dignity. You have made a difficult, but responsible and selfless decision and shown your dog the ultimate kindness in his distress.
If you have other pets in the family, you may notice their behavior change – they may look for their boyfriend or whimper, while previously submissive dogs may become a little more dominant. Nobody knows if dogs are able to experience grief in the same way as humans, but they may feel a sense of loss and take in the feelings of the rest of the family. So give them a lot of love and security.
In the days and weeks that follow your dog’s loss, try to focus on the good times – all of those wonderful walks, the games you played, and the happiness you gave each other. As overwhelming as your grief may be, you can look back on an amazing friendship and remember your dog with pride.
For more help and advice on coping with dog euthanasia, see our article on saying goodbye.
Should I have another dog?
Getting another dog after someone else dies is a personal decision that shouldn’t be rushed. Some people cannot stand the silence of an empty house while others take longer to cope with their loss.
There is no right or wrong answer, but make sure you don’t get a new dog while your feelings are still rough – they need to be welcomed into a forward-looking, loving home. They do not replace the dog you lost but are just as unique and special to you in their own way. You can then look forward to a future full of new memories with your new loyal friend.