The greatest fear your dog knows is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without him/her. But this fear is nothing compared with your fear of witnessing your dog struggle in pain, growing weaker by the day. Yet you don’t know how long he/she still has to suffer. Though you’ve visited your vet several times, there’s no guarantee if your beloved will still get better. You feel helpless and you just don’t know how long your dog will still be in such agony. You would have chosen to let your precious fur baby pass on naturally, but you now have to make an extremely painful decision to put your dog to sleep as a loving dog owner. In this article, we will discuss the things every dog owner should know about putting a dog to sleep at home.
1. When Is The Right Time?
Having to decide to euthanize your dog, the next question that most dog owners consider very difficult to answer is, “When is the right time to put a dog to sleep?” For you to answer this question, you need to visit your vet so he/she can help you assess your dog’s quality of life. Your vet will also make recommendations to help your dog feel a bit comfortable as you prepare for the process of euthanasia. It’s also very important to note that dogs don’t express pain as humans do. So by the time your vet has diagnosed your dog with a terminal illness, the illness is already at its worst stage.
2. The Best Place Where To Euthanize A Dog
There are several places where you can have your dog euthanized. One is at your vet’s clinic where you will be given a choice to stay with your precious dog during the whole process or wait outside the clinic if it’s too difficult for you. Your vet will prepare everything for you including documents you need to sign. Despite the ease of the process itself, transporting your pet from your home to the vet’s clinic might make your dog feel more anxious and uncomfortable, not to mention the difficulty of having to carry your dog physically to and from your car.
Deciding to put your dog to sleep is very stressful so it’s best to choose a place where you and your dog are most familiar and comfortable. Your home is the best place where to euthanize a dog. It provides an environment of solemnity where you can express your emotions. Dog euthanasia at home also gives dog owners the feeling of not being rushed unlike in the hospital or clinic setting where time is always constricted.
3. Can You Euthanize Your Dog At Home?
As dog owners, it’s understandable to think if you can euthanize your dog at home especially if you have certain circumstances. Yes, you can euthanize your dog at home only with the assistance of a vet. Vets are trained experts on how to euthanize a dog humanely and they are the only people legally allowed to do such practice. You might have heard about how some people overdose their dogs with acetaminophen, antihistamines, antibiotics, and sedatives as a way to euthanize their dogs. You have to remember that dog euthanasia when done incorrectly, might cause more harm and pain to your dog. It can go wrong even with experienced vets. So it is best to leave this to the experts. Moreover, being a dog owner doesn’t give you the license to euthanize your own dog, not legally.
If you wish to “technically” perform euthanasia on your dog, then talk to your vet and explain why it matters to you. Maybe then your vet will allow you to press the plunger once they’re set up properly.
4. What To Expect During Dog Euthanization At Home
As this article has mentioned, the best place to euthanize your dog is at home. Let’s check out how the process is done and what you should expect.
Before The Process
As soon as your vet arrives, he/she will check your dog. Then the whole process will be explained to you including certain protocols. Your vet will then get permission from you before starting. Despite how quick the process is, you don’t need to worry about the pacing since it will be done according to how you want it.
During The Process
How do vets put dogs down is not complicated and the procedure itself wouldn’t take long. They usually give sedatives through intramuscular injection to make your dog feel relaxed and feel less pain throughout the whole procedure. After a few minutes, the vet will place a catheter to your dog’s veins where the euthanasia solution will pass through. Just in case you’re wondering what do vets use to put dogs down. Most vets use pentobarbital, a seizure medicine, which can shut down your dog’s whole system if given in high doses.
After The Process
After the euthanasia injection has been administered, your vet will confirm that your dog has passed away. Do not be surprised if your dog’s eyes are not fully closed or you can see your dog releasing bodily fluid or making movements such as twitching. These are normal and should not be confused with signs of life. After confirming that your dog has passed away, your vet will then gently clean your dog and remove all the needles on your dog’s body. After which, your vet will step away to give you as much time as you need alone with your precious dog. When you are ready, your vet will clip a lock of fur as well as make a paw print which you can keep.
5. Tips on Preparing For Your Dog’s Last Days
Dog euthanasia is such a painful decision but it is also a manifestation of your love for your precious dog. Here is a list of things you must do before saying goodbye.
6. Final Thoughts
“Home is where the heart is.” You’ve heard this a lot of times and it proves to be true even for dying dogs. Home is where your dog first felt being part of the family. It’s okay to give your dog the right to pass peacefully where he has the happiest memories as long as you are emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially prepared. Because in the end, it’s not the years in your dog’s life that counts. It’s the quality of life and the love in your dog’s years that matters.