Pet Euthanasia: How To Know When It's Time To Have Your Pet Put Down
The decision to have a pet put down is an emotional one. It's not easy to say goodbye to your best friend, but sometimes it's necessary for their quality of life or yours.
As an owner, you are responsible for your pets well being. If they are in pain, have lost the will to live, or are suffering from a chronic illness, you might need to consider putting them down.
Even after careful consideration, the decision can be difficult. At this point, it's just about making that final call and knowing that you did what was best for your pet and yourself.
Section 1: Things to Consider
There are several things to take into consideration when you're considering euthanizing your pet. For example, your pet's age and breed can indicate whether or not they are likely to get better. Another factor to consider is the type of pain they are going through. For instance, a dog with a broken back will have a very different quality of life than a cat with a broken back.
Have a conversation with your vet and do your research about the type of illness your pet has. Ultimately, make a decision that will be best for you and your pet.
The process of pet euthanasia is a humane, painless death by a veterinarian. The process is known as a “gentle sleep” because the pet is sedated and then given a barbiturate to stop their heart.
The process begins with the vet assessing the pet's condition. If the vet believes the pet is suffering, they will discuss it with the owner and then the vet will sedate them.
The barbiturate can either be an injection or an oral sedative. They will then stop the heart. Afterwards, the vet will provide a small amount of care to clean them up and then help you say your final goodbyes.
The entire process usually takes a few minutes and should be done in a quiet area so your pet does not have to suffer any more than they need to. The vet should also have a counselor on staff to help you if you are going to need it.
As difficult as it is, being present for your pet's last few minutes can be beneficial for both you and your pet. It gives them someone to lean on and someone who will be there for them in their final moments. It also allows you to say goodbye and provide them with comfort only you can give.
What To Expect
You should also be aware of what to expect when you have a pet put down. What happens when a pet is put down? A pet is put down by giving them an injection of anesthetic. It's typically performed by a veterinarian, but could also be performed by a vet tech or other qualified individual.
An intravenous drip or an injection of anesthesia is administered to the animal, which renders them unconscious. A medical professional will make a small cut to the animal's jugular vein to allow blood to flow out of their body. The heart will stop beating and the animal will die within seconds.
Some animals will be cremated or buried after they are put down, while others are simply disposed of. This is typically determined by the family or the owner's wishes.
Pets are usually put down near the owner's home so that they can be laid to rest in their own back yard or other location that is important to them.
Your Pets Quality of Life
Your pet’s quality of life is always the most critical factor in this decision. You might be having difficulty recognizing their pain, but they are.
If your cat or dog is in constant pain, they will show their signs. Some pets might stop eating, lose their appetite, or stop interacting. They might hide in corners, scoot on the floor, or refuse to move. If your pet is suffering, it's time to think about the best way to put them down.
Don’t be surprised if your pet is hesitant about the idea of euthanasia at first. Their instincts are telling them that they are being abandoned. It’s important to be patient with them and to reassure them that they are not being abandoned, but are being given a more peaceful way to go.
The more you have talked about it with your pet, the more they understand that this is for their own good. For example, if you have told your pet that you are going on a trip for work, while you are away they might feel more relieved knowing that they won’t have to be alone while you are gone.
Supporting Yourself After the Decision
Once you have made the decision to put your pet down, it's important to take care of yourself. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your pet.
Pet owners might experience guilt or grief following a pet's death. You might feel like you could have done more or that you could have prevented the death. You might also experience anxiety from the process of putting down a pet.
It's normal to feel these things, but it's also important to talk to somebody about your feelings. You can speak with a pet-loss counselor or a grief counselor for support. Sharing your feelings with somebody who is trained in dealing with death and loss might help you heal. You can also read up on grieving or postpartum depression for more information on how to cope.
For pet owners who are struggling, here are some signs that it may be time to put your pet down:
- Your pet is in pain
- Your pet has lost the will to live
- Your pet is suffering from a chronic illness
- Your pet is experiencing extreme pain
- Your pet is no longer able to respond to stimuli
- Your pet has chronic pain
- Signs Your Pet Might Be Dying: How to Recognize the Symptoms
- How to Support Someone Going Through Pet Bereavement
- How to Help Your Child Grieve the Loss of a Pet
- Pet Funeral: Saying Goodbye To Your Beloved Pet
If you're thinking about putting your pet down, it's best to prepare yourself for the process. Knowing what you're walking into will make it easier to handle on the day of. You can take your pet to a veterinarian or a local animal hospital. In the end, it's important to remember that you're doing what's best for your animal and you're not alone.
According to the American Humane Association, one third of all pet owners have made this tough decision. It's an emotional time, but it doesn't have to be a difficult one. The decision to put a beloved pet down is a personal one, and it's a decision that shouldn't be made without careful consideration.