One of the most painful times for a dog owner is when you have to make the heartbreaking decision to euthanize your pet. There are so many different feelings and emotions that we are overwhelmed with during this time that it may cloud the decision-making process. Understanding the process before the time comes isn’t going to make it any easier emotionally, but it can help you feel better prepared to make decisions when the time comes. Here are some important things all pet owners should know about dog euthanasia.
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What You Need to Know About Dog Euthanasia
Euthanasia is the process of ending your dog’s life, with good reason, so that they aren’t suffering anymore. A normal euthanasia session is done at the veterinarian office where they are injected with a chemical solution. Once this solution is administered, it enters the dog’s bloodstream and stops their heart and brain from working.
Euthanasia is usually done if the dog is dealing with a terminal illness that cannot be helped with surgery or medical therapy. Other times dogs are put to sleep because they are dealing with a severe illness and while recovery is possible, it will be a time of great pain and suffering for the dog. Another reason for dog euthanasia is in the case of a chronic illness that is completely manageable with lots of medications and needles, but the dog is not able to cope either behaviorally or emotionally. There are several other reasons too that can be discussed with your vet if the time ever comes, but these are the most common.
You may want to let your chronically or terminally ill pet die in the comforts of their own home, but this is not advisable. This manner of death is not always quick nor is it painless. You don’t want your dog to go through prolonged suffering when euthanasia is fast, peaceful and typically painless.
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How does dog euthanasia work?
When a dog is euthanized, the most common method used is an injection of pentobarbitone sodium. This is very similar to drugs that vets give animals to induce general anesthesia. When this drug is administered, it stops the dog’s heart and brain from working and they will instantly lose consciousness. The dog will quickly fall asleep and pass away peacefully without feeling any pain.
During the process, your vet will typically give you the option of sitting with your dog or leaving the room. That decision is entirely up to you. No one will judge you for opting to leave the room if you feel you can’t handle watching the process.
Dog euthanasia is never an easy process. Even going in with all the information won’t change the grief you feel afterward. Your dog is a part of your family. Talk to your kids and let them discuss their feelings. Have a memorial service for your beloved canine companion if it makes you feel better. Most important of all, let yourself grieve and go through the process.
Do you have any questions about dog euthanasia that we didn’t answer? Feel free to ask in the comments.