How to Decide Whether to Do Euthanasia For the Dog


The decision to euthanize your dog is never an easy one, but a pet owner needs to prepare for the eventuality of it since, in my experience, only about one of every ten animals will die outside of the veterinarian’s office. The actual clinical procedure of euthanasia is simple, painless and peaceful. The solution administered is a powerful barbiturate anesthetic agent which is given intravenously as an overdose.

Making arrangements beforehand while the owner is more rational and clear-headed is very helpful. The veterinarian needs to know about the owner’s decisions concerning the disposal of the body. Does the owner or other family members wish to be present during the euthanasia? As the time approaches, the veterinarian should be called and an appointment made. This assures that the doctor will not be rushed and will allow the family time to be with the pet before and after the procedure. Prior to leaving for the vet’s office, the dog should be walked and allowed an opportunity to relieve himself.

How to Decide Whether to Do Euthanasia For the Dog  Euthanasia For Dog

The decision of when to euthanize a pet should be thoughfully considered. Bear in mind that most disease processes have a long course which results in the gradual decline of the dog’s health. I look at the quality of life of the dog in terms of good days and bad days. As long as the good days outnumber the bad days, the dog’s quality of life is acceptable. Again, the owner must decide for him- or herself what constitutes an acceptable quality of life for his or her dog. Do not force your veterinarian to make the euthanasia decision for you. His or her job is to provide the information necessary to enable you to make your decision.

Often, I feel owners think they are betraying the trust of their pet when euthanasia is considered. Quite the opposite! I believe our dogs trust us to decide for them when life has become too much of a burden to continue. While they cannot directly relate this to us, the behavioral changes in the geriatric animal unmistakably tell us when euthanasia becomes an option. Death is a part of life and cannot be avoided, but the suffering and debilitation of old age or incurable disease are not natural; the infirm animal in the wild is the first to be eliminated. Life can end with dignity and compassion by living up to that trust in a final loving act of sacrifice on our part Allow yourself to remember the good times spent with your best friend.

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Filed Under: Pets & Animals

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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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