When Is the Right Time to Put A Dog Down?

Saying goodbye to your best friend is never easy. We know just how difficult it can be to let go, but it is important to know when to let go and how to cope afterwards. Acoma Animal Clinic wants to help you in understanding your dog passing with dignity and steps to take thereafter.

If you do not want to be sad and upset, do not read this post. However, if you want to be informed on the best way to prepare your dog and your own coping afterward then this will be an informative post for you to read.

How to Judge the Quality of Life

Sometimes it will be more obvious than other time if you need to put your dog down. At times after an injury or medical emergency that is unrecoverable. More often the owner will have to decide once the dog has reached old age and the quality of life the dog has left. Although we have plenty of technology to help our pets live healthier and longer lives we still cannot ask them how they feel verbally.

You need to ask yourself by looking at your pet and read their way of verbiage when the time is. You need to judge your dog’s hunger, hydration, pain, happiness, and mobility. Also look at how many good days your dog has compared to bad days. As a loving companion, someone who never left your side, you may miscalculate and manipulate what you think your dog feels.

Sometimes it is best to bring your dog to the vet or make a call to see what your vet thinks as well. If your dog is no longer doing things that he/she once loved, then this may be a sign of a decrease in their quality of life.

Ask Your Vet the Right Questions

Vets understand how difficult the decision can be to euthanize a loved one. They’ve gone through it with many people and families to make the tough choice of the right time. While this may not be a thought in your mind in the beginning it is good to ask your vet the cost of euthanizing.

Paying after your pet has past can be difficult and receiving a bill in the mail can sometimes be a sad reminder; however, it is up to you and knowing your financial stance how you want to pay for your dog.

Next you will want to discuss what to do with your dog after he/she has passed away. Some cremate the dog and keep the ashes, others do not keep the ashes, there are also ways to bury the dog in a pet cemetery or in your yard. Speak with your vet prior and after to decide what you would like to do.

The Day Of

This is a hard day to realize what you knew was becoming a reality, but keep in mind allowing your furry friend to pass with grace and dignity. Be sure to give your dog plenty of love, hugs, kisses, whatever it is you want to let them know how much they mean to you and how good of a companion and family member they have been over the years.

Tell your loved ones when you are putting your dog down so that they be there and support you before, during, and after the procedure. Again, something for you to decide is when to put your pet’s items away. Some people put them away before the procedure, some after, and some leave the beds and other items out for a few days.

Immediately After

If you have children or other people living with you be sure to explain to them the reasoning behind why you have to choose to put your dog down. If you have other pets be there to comfort them and try to distract them from sadness in the long run by taking them on walks, going on drives, or bringing them into the office if it is pet friendly.

When grieving you need to be aware that you should not adopt too quickly after the loss of your pet. Many distressed owners get another dog a little too soon after to fill the void, but the Humane Society suggests against that. Change up your routine to distract yourself, your children, and/or your other pets.

In the End 

It is up to you whether you want to be in the room or not during your dog’s last few minutes. Some people prefer to be in the room so that they do not leave their dog alone in their final moments, while others do not want to be in the room to watch their dog go to sleep.

The process is painless to the dog as they just slowly close their eyes and truly feel nothing. Many times dogs look to their owners for guidance during this moment and feel peace knowing their owner is there. Yes, the decision is painful and troubling, but keep in mind the compassion you must show your dog in the end. Any questions you may have about the right time to put your dog down contact us and we will help you to the best of our ability.

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