Euthanizing your dog or cat is not an easy topic to think, talk or write about.
Our pet’s lives pass by so fast, it doesn’t seem fair. To think the animal you’ve become so close to, that not so long ago was a puppy or kitten, will someday pass is painful.
The purpose of this post is to educate you on the options available when it’s time to make these tough decisions. Knowing what is available and what to expect will make the entire process a little bit easier for you.
When is Euthanasia the Right Choice
Deciding when to euthanize your pet is never an easy choice. But there does come a time when it is the right choice. Only a loving pet owner, counseled by a vet can decide when euthanasia is in an animal’s best interest.
Euthanasia should never be for convenience. Most vets will refuse to euthanize an animal if they believe it is unnecessary.
Euthanasia is NOT an acceptable solution to inconvenience. If for any reason you are not able to care for your pet, rehoming services are available. Talk to your vet to learn more.
Under what circumstance might a vet recommend euthanasia? If the animal’s health has declined to a point where suffering is severe and constant. If death is imminent and already very near, euthanasia is a more humane end. If the animal poses a real threat to other animals, people by spreading disease or physical harm.
Why Euthanize at Home
In recent years home euthanasia has become very common. In fact, vets offering home euthanasia services often report it as 50% of their workload. There is a good reason for this, home euthanasia is often better for the pet, and the owner.
Everyone, including your pet, is more comfortable at home. This is particularly true for animals dealing with mobility issues and pain. For a dying animal, the clinical setting compounds stress and anxiety.
Having the procedure in your home allows you to be more open and sincere with your emotions. You’re able to create a sentimental experience and, to put it frankly, make the best of a bad situation.
There are very few cases in which a dog or cat can’t be euthanized at home.
What is the Euthanasia Process
Home euthanasia begins with the vet arriving, and performing a checkup. If it’s determined that euthanasia is the only humane option available, it’s recommended. Sometimes this part has happened in advance.
The actual procedure begins with a sedative injection. it’s a common injection, that your pet may have had before during surgery. As the sedative takes effect, the animal will relax, its pain will go away, and it falls into a comfortable sleep.
Next, a second injection is given. This is also a sedative but a stronger one, given in a higher dose. Your pet’s sleep will deepen until their heart comes to a stop. There’s no struggling and no pain. The vet performs a final check to make sure the procedure is complete. Then arrangements are made for your pet’s remains.
How to Make Euthanasia Easier
Losing a pet, for most of us is like losing a child or a best friend. It’s going to be sad and painful, and you’re going to cry. But it is unavoidable and there are some things you can do to make it easier for everyone.
Many people, given enough notice, plan a day of celebration for their pet. Friends and family will come to visit. The pet’s favorite activities, if their condition allows, will happen. These might include walks, trips to the park, car rides or time outside.
Often owners give their dog or cat special food that they are not usually given. Some dogs get chocolate bars and hamburgers. Cats eat salmon, tuna, and chicken. When it was time for my family dog, we ordered a pizza special for the dog with every topping imaginable on it. That pizza looked pretty gross but our dog loved it.
It also helps to have arrangements in place for what will happen with your pet’s remains. Today, many people are choosing cremation, but there is the option for a burial service. There are many ways in which your pet can be memorialized, and your vet can assist you in choosing what is right for you.
Euthanizing your pet is one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make. Nothing can change that! Doing it in the comfort of your own home allows you the opportunity to celebrate your pet’s life.
Once your dog or cat is finally at rest, you will have to go on living. It is normal for people to grieve the loss of their pet for many days, weeks or months afterward. This can be especially difficult for younger people. There is literature available from veterinarians that deals with the loss of a pet.
Hopefully, this post helps you make the right decisions and the process easier when the time comes.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me.