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Dog Euthanasia: Is It Time For Them To Cross the Rainbow Bridge?

When to Put a Dog Down

When to Put a Dog Down: Dog Euthanasia

         Nothing is more painful than recognizing the fact that nothing lasts forever in this world. Yes, death is inevitable, even for the richest and the most powerful. However, there’s a different pain in deciding to lay someone to rest to stop suffering. Cruel, some might say, but for those people, it was for the best.

         Yes, euthanasia has been recognized by some parts of the world as a legal and ethical move. It is a way of freeing someone from excruciating pain by ending it, literally. It involves injecting a chemical, primarily barbiturates, which causes unconsciousness and dies through respiratory failure. This act is present even among humans. But euthanasia is more prominent in animals, especially dogs. 

         Since dogs have a smaller lifespan than humans, dog owners have to bear the pain of saying goodbye. Dogs can feel pain; they just don’t know how to relay them. This is then the very reason why some owners have trouble understanding the time a dog should get euthanasia. It is always a question of when to put a dog down. 

         Many veterinarians say that before a dog be put to euthanasia, the owner must assess the dog’s state. This is true and should be minded. Listed below are essential steps in evaluating whether to euthanize your pooch or not.

Understand your dog’s pain

When to Put a Dog Down

This will be your number one basis on whether to euthanize your dog or not. After all, the very reason why euthanasia is performed is to end the pain, right? Proper assessment of your pooch’s health situation is of the essence.

Usually, a veterinarian will provide you a checklist to help you assess your dog’s pain. One apparent checklist is the “Quality of Life Scale.” This asks for your rating on some of your dog’s conditions, such as level of pain and activity. The results will then be categorized based on how the chart works. 

However, most people would prefer the recommendation of a veterinarian upon deciding whether to euthanize or not. This results in owners depending on the vet’s diagnosis if the dog can still handle pain or not. But entirely, it will be up to the owner to decide whether his pooch is suffering. 

Accurate observations of the dog’s overall behavior are a must. Most especially if the dog is really terminally ill. 

Take note of the signs.

When to Put a Dog Down
When to Put a Dog Down

As mentioned, observing your pooch’s behavior upon being in pain or sick is critical. Having even just a basic knowledge of how a dog behaves is essential. Note that a dog in pain and a dog in old age exhibit different behavioral patterns. 

A dog in old age exhibits conditions, like arthritis, which can still be treated. This is true, especially if your pooch had a healthy lifestyle during his younger years. After all, dying of old age is less evil than dying of sickness. Not being able to note the signs may cause accidental euthanasia.

Knowing when to euthanize really requires a vigorous assessment of the overall condition of the dog. Below are just some of the signs an owner should observe if his pooch is suffering from tremendous pain:

  • Lack of appetite or not even trying to eat or drink
  • Having trouble sleeping or not being able to sleep at all
  • Loss of motivation or lack of movement
  • Not responding to your calls 
  • Often vomits
  • Experiencing distress or discomfort

Often, if these signs are present in a dog, especially if it’s chronically ill, then euthanasia is considered. However, it is still recommended that the dog be checked by a veterinarian. Be honest on everything when asking about the situation of the dog. So that the veterinarian may gauge the proper treatment on it.
When to Put a Dog Down

Things to do if the dog’s going to be euthanized

Euthanasia is always the last option. So if the dog should be euthanized, that means everything has been done to save your pooch. Because no matter what medical techniques are applied to the dog, the pain won’t alleviate. 

When it is time for the dog to be euthanized, mentally prepare yourself and your family. Though you know, it won’t be possible, of course. However, before arriving at that decision, the owner, the family, and the veterinarian should arrive at an agreement.

Many states in the U.S. ask for legal papers should a dog be euthanized. But in general, veterinary clinics ask you to sign a consent paper. If every legal thing is done, then the process of euthanasia proceeds.

The process involves a nurse injecting something into his front leg. Other parts of the body are technically OK. The nurse shaves a tiny amount of fur to the injection site. That “something” injected is a barbiturate, which renders the dog to sleep or unconscious. But kills the dog due to either respiratory or heart failure. 

As sad as it seems, it’s better if you’ll be with the dog at his final moments. Though the owner has the option to be with his pooch or not. But remember, the very last thing he wants to see before being put to sleep in his family. After all, we, dog owners, are the whole life of our furry babies, right?

After euthanasia

Options such as cremation or burial will be upon the decision of the owner. Though cremation is a bit more expensive, especially if the ashes are requested. There are also various pet cemeteries where the dog’s remains can be buried. Furthermore, you also have the option to have it properly buried in your backyard instead. Overall, it will be up to the owner to choose what to do.

To know how to cope with losing your furbaby, you might want to check this: Rainbow Bridge: How To Cope When It Is Time To Let Your Furbaby Go

When to Put a Dog Down

The Takeaway

When to Put a Dog Down
When to Put a Dog Down

         Euthanasia may seem cruel, but to some, it’s their last resort to relieve their dog from pain. However, the timing when to induce one is the real problem. Seeking out professional medical help for the dog helps and should be done first before deciding to euthanize. It is normal to have doubts after euthanasia was executed. But remember, time will always heal.

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JP Velasquez

A guy who loves to write anything that comes to mind. Self-proclaimed dog-owner with two cute dogs. Dreams of becoming a published writer someday. Currently working on how to make that dream a reality.

When to Put a Dog Down
Jace Sinclair
Jace Sinclair
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