When To Euthanase Your Dog – How Do You Decide?
what is euthanasia?
Euthanasia is the act of putting an animal to death or allowing it to die by withholding extreme medical measures.
There are a number of reasons this could happen but for domestic dogs the most common cause is an incurable or painful disease.
What is the process for EUTHANasING dogs?
Dog owners are commonly concerned about whether the process will be painful or traumatic for their dogs. Vets usually use pentobarbital which is a seizure medication. It is administered in large doses which will shut down the dog’s heart and brain within a few minutes. Many vets will give your dog a sedative before administering the phenobarbital. The whole process is painless for your dog with the possible exception of a small sting when the sedative is given.
What To Expect When Your Dog Is Euthanased.
Many vets will come to your home and perform the service. This is by far the best option. Check with your vet – if they don’t provide a home service you may want to find one that does. Many people find it comforting sit and stroke their dog while it is done. If you do have to take your dog to the vet’s office, take a bed or familiar blanket for your dog to lie on.
The vet will generally give your dog an intravenous injection. As he passes away his eyes may not fully close. There could be a final twitch and he may urinate. None of this is a sign of pain.
Many people like to bury their pet at home. You should really check that you are not contravening any local government ordinances if you plan to do this.
If this is not your preference, then your vet can organize for the ethical disposal of your dog’s body.
When Is It Time To Euthanase Your Dog?
You will most likely have spent years caring for your pet and deciding when it is time to euthanase him is the most difficult part of the whole process. If you are lucky enough to have a vet who has spent some time caring for your dog then at least you will have someone who understands what you are going through. Ultimately though, the decision is yours.
The normal dilemma is that you want to give your dog as long as possible to live, but on the other hand you do not want him to suffer unreasonably.
Sometimes, the dog himself will give you a sign that it is time to go. This can be a refusal to eat or drink. Or an inability to walk or stand.
Family and friends can be a good source of advice and support. Sometimes an outsider can look at the situation more objectively.
The unfortunate fact is that when you get a dog, you can be almost certain that it will end this way. The important thing is to have created some beautiful memories along the way.