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Putting Dog to Sleep
Sad Dog

Putting your dog to sleeep is a heartfelt and difficult decision for any dog owner.  Most likely your dog is your best friend and you may have had him since a puppy. Questions run through your mind:   Should I put him down?  Should I just let him die naturally?  When is the proper time?  What should I do? How do I tell the children?

First and foremost, you need to look at this objectively.  You have to stand back and really look at what your dog is going through.  Obviously, we don’t want to see our best friend in pain.  Are you providing pain medications to keep your dog alive for him or for yourself?  The reality is that pain medications are only prolonging the inevitable. Do you see that your dog can’t walk anymore due to painful arthritis and have to carry him outside to potty?  Is he dragging himself to the water bowl?  Is he in so much pain that he just doesn’t move and stays in one spot all day?  Does he have cancer or another incurable disease?  Does he have quality of life? Here is a great electronic book on grieving and pet lossGreat tips for coping.

A decision like this is certainly personal, however; you need to put yourself in your dogs’ paws.  You don’t want to see anyone suffering whether they are 2 legged or 4 legged. 

You need to ‘feel’ where your dog is coming from.  You will generally know when the time is right as your dog will ‘tell’ you.  Your dog enjoyed a wonderful life with you.  Now, however, his quality of life doesn’t exist anymore.  That is what life is all about; Quality. 

The process of euthanizing is totally painless to your beloved pet.  The veterinarian injects him with an overdose of a drug called Phenobarbital.  This drug actually puts your dog to sleep as if he is going to have surgery.   Your dog goes to sleep first, then once asleep the veterinarian injects an overdose of the Phenobarbital which causes the heart and respiratory systems to shut down and stop, thus causing all brain activity to cease as well.  You also have the choice of being with your pet while this euthanasia process occurs, or you have the choice of not being there.  This is your decision.

Most veterinarians will come to your home and provide this service for you as some dog owners would rather have their dog pass away in a familiar setting.  Contact your vet to see if he/she will make a house call.

Your veterinarian can also help you with arrangements such as cremation and urns.

You will mourn; this is a natural reaction to loosing someone you dearly love.  You are mourning because you don’t have your friend anymore.  However, you have him in your heart, in photos and in your memory.  With this said, your friend is always going to be with you and around you.  You will have guilty feelings as well.  There is no need to feel guilt, as you have provided your best friend a painless death and he is now at peace.

If you would like further information on pet loss, this instant downloadable book on recovering from the grief of pet loss really hits home.