When Is It Time To Put Your Dog Down?
It’s finally time – you might have chosen to ignore it to lessen the reality of it all, but it’s time. Your dog needs to be put down – it’s a harrowing experience not only for the dog but also for its owners. Dogs are practically family members, and losing them isn’t easy.
However, this experience becomes much more difficult when you’re the one expected to decide for your dog. This article gives you an idea of knowing when to let your pet finally pass away, and dealing with the aftermath of such a major decision.
HOW DO YOU KNOW?
Most dogs are unaware of the fact they are dying. This is why most owners mistakenly assume that because their dogs are still jumping around or eating a lot, they’re still healthy. Dogs simply don’t show their pain as much as humans do. In fact, be more worried about stressing them out instead of the pain they are only mildly aware of.
Stress is even worse for animals than pain because pain is familiar to them due to all the activities they do. When they see you anxious, it makes them think there’s some unknown thing that is making their owner worry. They can’t relax knowing there’s a threat out there they can’t see.
Always visit a trusted veterinarian for a checkup before making any hasty decisions. Get a second opinion as well to ease your worries. Sometimes, a dog is sickly and weak, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are incurable. Never “follow your gut” when there are experts whose opinions you can ask for yourself.
Letting a dog die of natural causes in the comfort of their home is a choice many people end up making, and it is an understandable viewpoint. People think that their dog wouldn’t feel comfortable being brought to a strange room with a stranger without any family insight. This is why they think to themselves that they can handle it when the time comes.
However, it cannot be stressed enough that letting a dog die of natural causes is not always as peaceful as you would like to believe. Inevitably, the dog will stop being active and slowly break down physically and mentally. This is painful not only for the pet but also to the person who has to watch their pet slowly die.
ONE LAST DAY
When your veterinarian tells you that your dog should be put to sleep for good, and you have reached a decision, make peace with the fact that you will soon be saying goodbye. Make sure you decide as early as possible – this is so you don’t extend your pet’s suffering more than necessary.
While this experience is hard for you, it is much harder on your dog. They’re not even aware that their last few weeks, or maybe even days with you, are looming. Think of how much pain your dog is going through, and think to yourself if the pain is worth waiting through.
Prepare one last day for them consisting of all their favorite things to do before you go to the vet. Keep in mind your dog’s condition when doing so and adjust the plan to account for that. Don’t pick activities that could negatively affect your dog’s already fragile condition. Take them out for a casual walk to their favorite spots, give them their favorite treats and toys, and most importantly, smile. Your dog’s last day with your family should be a good memory, not only for your dog but for you as well.
When the time arrives to finally let them rest, be with them every step of the way. Again, a dog’s final memories should be of the most important people in their lives comforting them as they slowly go to sleep. Try not to show the pain you are going through, and continue smiling until you know they’re gone.
Some owners can’t handle seeing their beloved pets pass away, but it’s the best choice for you and your pet. It might be hard on you, but it will be much harder on the dog if they pass away alone, with only a stranger in the room with them.
When your dog has passed, let it out. Take comfort in the fact that you did your best in taking care of something you loved so much, and that you were there for them until their final breath.
Crying is a healthy release for all the tension, anxiety, and pain you have kept to yourself for your dog’s sake. Your family or the present veterinarian will likely have some comforting words for you, and it’s best to accept them as they come.
While the death of a pet is a terrifying prospect, it’s always best to be ready for it when the time arrives. Knowing the signs and preparing for the worst is how you can go through this experience and come out the other side better than if you hadn’t known what to do.