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.
When our pets are sick, perhaps at the end of their life, it can be difficult to say goodbye. While euthanasia is a common, humane solution that ensures your pet doesn’t suffer unnecessarily, hospice care is an alternative. Hospice care for pets is fairly similar to hospice care for humans. Pet hospices aim to relieve pain and provide comfort when your pet is at the end of his or her life. Palliative care for pets allows you to spend more time with your beloved pet without subjecting them to undo discomfort.
Pet hospices provide a number of services to both the pet and the pet owner. While giving your pet the necessary medical treatment, hospices can also help pet owners who are most often suffering from a great deal of stress. Pet hospices help with care and euthanasia decisions and may even offer counseling services to help you cope with the loss of a pet. By seeking support from a pet hospice you will get the assistance you need to come to terms with your pet’s illness and to make the right decisions for the comfort, health, and safety of your pet.
The main purpose of pet hospice care is to make sure your pet is always comfortable and hospices aim to balance the needs of the pet with the cares of the owner. Because pet hospice staff is experienced with all kinds of pet illness as well as the grieving process that owners invariably endure, they can help you reach good decisions and accept the death of your pet. Many veterinarian offices are already offering hospice care for pets and as this type of care becomes more popular, you’ll likely find more vets who provide hospices for pets. Most importantly, hospices are there to support you and your pet so you never feel pressure to pursue a treatment, such as euthanasia, unless you are totally comfortable.
When you first bring home your puppy or kitten, you probably feel overwhelmed with love and you’re definitely not thinking about the day when the end comes. Nevertheless, one of the most traumatic experiences of pet ownership is the death of your beloved animal. In some cases, your dog or cat may become so sick that you have to decide whether your pet should be forced to live through the pain anymore. Many pet owners turn to euthanasia to prevent their pet from unnecessary suffering, but it is still an incredibly difficult action to take.
Obviously, not all cases of illness in pets should be treated with euthanasia and as the pet owner you’ll need to make some very serious considerations.
- Has your pet been suffering through incurable pain?
- Has your veterinarian advised that treatment is not an option?
- Has your dog or cat suffered from severe injuries where recovery is not likely?
- Is your pet suffering from an age-related condition that is likely to get worse over time?
- Does your pet have a terminal illness that will cause great pain and discomfort?
The decision to euthanize a pet is never an easy one but is often the best option for your pet. Never take these decisions lightly and always try to consider the quality of life of your dog or cat. You can try to evaluate the happiness of your pet before continuing. There are several signs that your dog or cat is miserable, and probably ready to give up on the fight. Loss of appetite, social withdrawal, lethargy, self-neglect, incontinence, and cries of pain are all indications that an ill or elderly cat or dog may be nearing the end of life. It’s time for you to prepare your goodbyes and let your beloved companion rest in peace.