How to Spend the Last Days of Your Dying Dog

by Nov 27, 2020Uncategorized0 comments

Nothing is easy with losing a loved one, and losing a pet isn’t any different. Knowing that you’re about to lose your dog can be a nightmare, but it can also be a bittersweet opportunity to prepare yourself and your family for a life without your dog.

Most modern-day scientists say that the grief of losing a pet is as painful as losing a person, which can be devastating for a pet owner’s mental health. That is why preparing for your dying dog’s last days can help you deal with the coming loss of your pet.

Though a difficult time, taking your dog home in the last few days of its life can help calm your pet and make them feel loved and appreciated before they pass away. It allows your dog to spend their remaining days with the people that they love.
Here are a few ways to spend the last days with your dying dog:

1. Do a Quality of Life Check-List

How to Spend the Last Days of Your Dying Dog
Many dog owners use the Quality of Life Scale for their dying pets, a checklist for putting their dogs down. Think about ways to improve the following issues for your dog, asking your vet for advice:

  • How much pain does your dog feel?
  • Can your still dog breathe, see, and hear normally?
  • Are your dog’s hygiene and grooming needs provided for?
  • Can your dog perform their favorite activities?
  • Does your dog have control over their body and mobility?
  • Can your dog eat and drink normally?
  • Is your dog comfortable and content?
  • Can both you and your dog sleep? Is your dog always sleeping?
  • Can your dog socialize normally, or is it isolating itself and is visibly anxious, stressed, or depressed?
  • Can your dog think, communicate, and behave normally, or does it seem disoriented or confused?

Truthfully answering these questions will help you come up with the best decision for your pet.

2. Deal With Your Grief

You will likely go through a plethora of emotions as you bid your beloved dog goodbye, and all of them are natural and completely understandable. Your grief will begin as soon as you hear about your pup’s diagnosis, and you might even think it’s not real. It’s common to feel hurt, angry, and guilty, and you may find yourself trying to control what’s going on.

3. Thoughtfully Explain the Situation to Younger Children

A dog’s death can be even more devastating for kids, but it’s best to let them know about the real situation so that they can say goodbye in their own way. Remember to explain the situation in a manner appropriate for their age. Most kids, especially younger ones, don’t fully understand the concept of death, so you’ll probably have to answer several questions repeatedly. Look for children’s books that might help them better understand the situation, and you can read them together with your dog.

Assure your child that your dog’s death is no one’s fault and that it’s a natural part of life. Remember to be careful about describing what will happen because children tend to take things literally. For example, if you tell them that their dog will be put to sleep, they might feel afraid to go to sleep themselves, or if you tell them their pet has to go away, they might expect their dog to come back.

4. Involve Older Children

Involve Older Children
Older children have a better grasp of the process of illness, age, and dying. By allowing them to be involved, you give them a chance for closure. Let them ask the vet any medical questions they may have. Tell them about any decisions you’re going to make for the family dog, such as treatments, tests, or euthanasia. While it’s unfortunate, learning how to handle sadness and difficult situations like losing a pet is an integral part of growing up.

5. Reach Out

Know that you don’t have to deal with all of this by yourself. The pain of a pet’s death can get overwhelming and too much to bear on your own, but talking to someone might make you feel better. Reach out to local support groups, hotlines, or online dog forums where you can speak to dog owners with experiences in pet loss. Let your family, friends, and loved ones know about the situation so they can help you deal with the stress and mental anguish.

6. Keep in Mind that Some People Around You Won’t Understand

Not all people are lucky enough to experience the kind of bond you have with your dog, so they don’t think of animals as real family members. However, don’t allow what other people think to make you ashamed of your true feelings.

Grief over the loss of a dog is real and natural, and you should let yourself experience those emotions and not feel embarrassed about it. Remember to reach out to people who can understand your situation better.

7. Use Rituals for Comfort and Plan Ahead

Use Rituals for Comfort and Plan Ahead

While it might be difficult and uncomfortable to discuss your dog’s final arrangements, decisions need to be made. If you choose to bury your dog, you’ll need to decide on the pet funeral homes and cemeteries. You also have the option to cremate your dog. If you decide to bury your dog so you can visit them in the future, you will need to plan a different set of arrangements. You may want to get a pet memorial or pet garden stone.

Just having plans like this can bring comfort when dealing with the grief that comes when you’re about to lose your dog.

8. Help Your Dog Say Goodbye, Too

Your dog knew that something was wrong way before your vet told you. And even if that’s not the case, your dog is sensitive to your emotions and feelings. Don’t let your dog think that they have done something wrong or that it’s their fault that you’re sad. Animals can understand, so talk to your dog and let them know it’s okay to let go. Tell them what’s going to happen and assure them that they will always be in your heart.

9. Spend the last days together

Use the time you have left with your dog by celebrating your bond. It may be the final time, but it’s also a good time to do what you love doing together. Spoil your dog a little and create plenty of memories that you can happily look back to in the future.

Let everyone who loves your dog help you brainstorm a list of last things to do together before your dog says his final goodbye. You can visit a favorite place one last time, take photos, or spend time looking at pictures of good old days together.

10. Learn About Euthanasia and Hospice

Learn About Euthanasia and Hospice
The last days of a dying pet come with some of the most difficult decisions a dog owner has to make. Thankfully, there are now more options than there used to be. While we all wish our pets to have a peaceful death, it’s sometimes not the case. You might be faced with the difficult choice of ending your dog’s pain. If you choose to put your dog down, let everyone in the family, especially yourself, know that this is your final act of love.

Ask your doctor about home euthanasia or hospice care, so your dog can pass away naturally and pain-free. If there’s nothing you can do, ask for an end-of-the-day appointment, so you won’t have to face other people in the waiting room, and you can have some time to deal with your emotions privately.

11. Remember That People We Love Never Really Leave Us

It’s important to memorialize our pets and celebrate our love for them for the rest of our lives. The pain will lessen over time, but it’s normal to miss your dog. However, it’s best to focus on the times that your dog was happy and healthy, which is why it’s essential to plan how to deal with the last days of your dying dog – to have more pleasant memories than sad ones.

Losing a dog is never easy, but there are plenty of ways to honor, memorialize, and keep them close to your heart. A pet memorial stone is a great way to keep your dog’s memory alive. If you want to order a customized memorial stone for your beloved fur pet, please feel free to visit Rainbow Bridge Pet Memorials.