Everything You Need to Know About Putting Your Dog Down
Talking to Your Veterinarian
Deciding to euthanize your sick, injured, or senior dog is a personal choice. However, you can reach out to your veterinarian for guidance and help in making that final decision. Your vet can explain the medical issues, risks, and other facts that are necessary for you to make an informed decision. He can also give you useful tips on evaluating your pet’s quality of life and what it indicates. Most importantly, you can ask your vet to walk you through the process of euthanasia.
What is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally stopping your dog’s heart to with an overdose of barbiturates. The fluids are given to your pet through an IV catheter or injection. When administered properly, your pet will not feel any pain during the process. A lot of dog owners resort to this option when the suffering of their pet becomes unbearable.
There are various animal shelters or city pounds who administer euthanasia. Some of them have very strict regulations about the process, and they only euthanize under particular circumstances.
When your pet is being euthanized, you can choose whether or not to stay with your pet. Some veterinarians will come to your home to administer euthanasia to your pet, which can be a good set-up if going to the clinic or the hospital is stressful for your dogs.
The vet will give you some time to say everything you want to your dog or to give it one last hug before they carry on with the procedure. You can also tell the vet or vet technician if you’d like to keep some of your dog’s fur or its collar as a memento.
What About Natural Death?
The best scenario is for your pet to fall asleep and pass away without euthanasia. However, it is rare for animals to have a natural, peaceful death. Natural deaths can be long and painful and can only increase your pet’s anxiety.
If you think your dog is suffering and you decide to give him a more comfortable arrangement, make it a point to discuss with your vet about having euthanasia as your option. They can provide you with advice and opinions, but keep in mind that the final decision is still yours to make.
What is the Process of Euthanasia for Dogs?
Some clinics give sedatives to dogs before administering euthanasia because a lot of them grow anxious before the procedure. It’s not standard practice, but you may request it from your vet if you think your dog needs it.
Many veterinarians use a high dosage of pentobarbital, a seizure medication, to intentionally shut down the heart and brain of your dog. The vet will administer the drug intravenously. Like some humans, some dogs are more reactive to needles than others. They will whine in response to the injection, which can further heighten your already distraught emotions.
Most pet owners are surprised with how quick the euthanasia takes effect. Your dog will pass away peacefully a few seconds after the administration. Your dog’s body will relax, and then it’s over. You may sometimes hear gasps coming from your dog after he has already passed, but those are just the sound of air exhaled from his lungs. The nerves may also twitch for a short moment, while the bladder will sometimes empty. Unlike in movies, your dog’s eyes may not automatically shut. Involuntary reflexes are common after death, but they can be disturbing to witness.
What Dogs Need Euthanasia?
Some shelters put down dogs that are not qualified for adoption, those that have aggressive tendencies, those that are too old to enjoy quality life, those with deformities or illnesses, or those that have been staying in the shelter for too long.
Shelters who have moved to no-kill models aim to provide a suitable home for every dog that comes to them. However, there are circumstances where the best option is to euthanize the dogs. This can include dogs who have been ruled by the court as dangerous, especially after a bite incident.
If you’re deciding on whether or not you should euthanize your dog, here are questions to ask yourself to help you decide:
- Did your dog stop eating or drinking water, especially after vomiting?
- Is your pet soiling itself?
- Is your pet acting odd or hostile?
- Is your pet having difficulty in breathing or having seizures?
- Can your pet quickly get up, lie down, or walk around without falling?
- Does your pet look distressed?
- Observe your pet then discuss your thoughts with your vet before you make any decision to make sure that you come up with the best for your pet.
Do You Need to Be with Your Dog During Euthanasia?
The answer depends on what you think is best for both you and your dog. Your dog might appreciate having you there during its last moments, but the choice is still up to you.
If you have young kids who may not fully understand the situation, it is better not to have them in the treatment room during the administration of euthanasia. For mature children, ask them whether or not they want to stay with your dog when it passes away.
As painful as it may be for you, the truth is, many dogs look for their humans in this circumstance. Your dog may feel frightened and will need you for comfort.
When mourning the loss of your beloved pet, it may not be easy for you to make any more decisions, so we recommend that you have a plan with what you want to do with your dog’s remains.
If you haven’t made any burial arrangements yet, you can ask your vet clinic for options, including group cremation, individual cremation, or you can also bury the body. Check with your municipality for regulations about burying pets, especially if you live in a city.
Euthanasia is one of the best ways for you to give your pet a peaceful and painless passing while surrounded by family, which is something that even us humans hope for. It may be painful to say goodbye, but remember to do what is right for your beloved dog.
If you decide to bury your pet, you can still show them your love after their passing with a memorial stone that you’ve designed. For more information about the products and services we offer, please visit our website at https://www.rainbowbridgepetmemorials.com/, or contact us today at 208-253-4557.