It’s literally a life-or-death choice – and certainly not easy for dog owners.
As difficult as it is for the owners to make a decision, in some cases it is best for the animal to save it from suffering. If your dog is just torturing himself, it is a sign of grace.
However, many owners in such situations get in the way of their own feelings, writes veterinarian Johannes. Of course, who wants to volunteer to do without their four-legged best friend? However, one of the responsibilities of a dog owner is to be able to let him go at the right time.
When is it Time to Put Your Dog to Sleep?
But how do you know when that time has come? A definitive diagnosis, at the very least, is not automatically a cause for putting your dog to sleep. Because many four-legged friends still enjoy life, even though they are sick. Thus, for many veterinarians, a dog’s love of life is a decisive factor in whether and when to euthanize: if the dog no longer shows interest in life, it is better to get rid of it. You can recognize this, for example, by the fact that a loved one is simply lying around apathetically.
Answers to the following questions can also provide information about your dog’s health and the need for euthanasia:
- Can I get rid of my dog’s pain?
- Can my dog run, eat and do his own thing on his own?
- Can I still give my dog the necessary care and attention?
The decision is usually relatively straightforward if the dog has a chronic illness or pain that cannot be relieved with medication. Even after a serious accident in which the dog does not survive the trauma, it should be relieved of the suffering as soon as possible.
This becomes less clear when your dog is more lethargic but otherwise appears to be comfortable. Or if the vet diagnoses a disease that doesn’t hurt your dog, but is incurable and will cause him great distress in the future. Your dog may also have clear moments and then again embarrassed, scared, or aggressive phases.
Therefore, the decision for or against euthanasia must always be made on an individual basis.
Owner Does Not Make the Decision Alone
The decision for or against euthanasia is not only made by the owner of the dog: the decision of the veterinarian also plays an important role. Veterinarians should only make a decision after “careful diagnosis and prognosis, taking into account the expected future quality of life.”
And, of course, dogs can only be euthanized painlessly and using the method that is most convenient for them. In most cases, this means that the dog is put under general anesthesia first. If that works, he will be given an overdose of anesthetic. As a result, the heartbeat and breathing stop, the four-legged friend does not notice anything.
Other factors should be considered by hosts after deciding to euthanize. For example, the question is where the dog will spend the last minutes of his life: in veterinary practice or at home?
Putting Dogs to Sleep: at Home or at the Vet?
Is your dog afraid of the vet or the car? Do you want to relieve him of stress and still feel calmer in a familiar environment? Ask your veterinarian if they can euthanize your dog during a home visit. Otherwise, you could, if necessary, look for another veterinarian whom you also trust in this difficult situation. Performing euthanasia at home can give you and your dog the safety we need during this sad and intimate moment.
But whichever place you choose: do not leave the dog alone at this moment. And the veterinarian’s reports, for example, how some of his four-legged patients panicked are still in search of masters shortly before their death – falling asleep peacefully looks different.
What is Important After the Death of a Pet
Of course, you can leave your dog’s body to the vet after it is euthanized, but then your beloved four-legged friend will be “disposed of” at the animal carcass disposal facility. Therefore, more and more people choose to bury their dogs.
For example, in your own garden. It is best to ask the responsible municipality what you need to consider. Burial in a small animal cemetery is a possible option.
And the last option is cremation, so you can keep the dog close to you even after its death. Urns do not have to be immediately recognizable as such: they are also available as artistic decorative objects or picture frames. And if you want especially noble memories of your four-legged friend, you can press your dog’s ashes into a diamond.
Affair of Grief
In addition to these organizational issues, after the death of a pet, grief is most important. In particular, parents sometimes find it difficult to find a good way to deal with grief. The most important thing is not to hide your own grief and in no case hide the death of your pet.