October 7, 2010

Dog Euthanasia and Grieving your Pet

Filed under: euthanasia — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:02 am

There comes a time for many pet owners when they have to prepare to say goodbye to their beloved dog.  When we first bond with a new puppy, very few of us spend any time thinking about how our dogs’ lives will end.  Nevertheless, dog euthanasia is a very common concern for owners of elderly dogs which makes the grieving process even more difficult.  With our human loved ones, we never really have to make the decision to end their lives; while dog euthanasia is a common and often considerably more humane approach to the end of a dog’s life.

Deciding to euthanize your dog is a difficult decision and owners wrestle with some of the details.  Fortunately, the method of euthanizing pets is standard: dogs are given a lethal overdose of barbiturates which essentially puts your dog to sleep so he can die peacefully and painlessly.  Still, when it comes to some of the finer details, such as whether you should or should not be present for the death, grieving pet owners face a dilemma.

Ultimately, you have to decide the best way to say goodbye to your dog.  Being present allows you to experience your dog’s final moments and many owners feel this is a good way to seek closure.  You can see that your dog dies peacefully and you can feel relieved at the end of his pain.  Yet, other dog owners cannot deal with the emotions that often present in the final moments and there is certainly no shame in staying away while your dog is euthanized.

Finally, most dog owners struggle with knowing when euthanasia is necessary and for the most part we resist the idea.  Essentially killing our beloved pets, even if it is the most humane choice, is extremely difficult.  Still, you need to consider your dog’s comfort level first and foremost.  If your dog is suffering from extreme pain and cannot derive pleasure from life, it is probably time to start talking to your veterinarian about euthanasia.

About Dr. Amber Reed

has written 281 posts in this blog.

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