Dealing with putting your dog down

Having a dog for your pet is a great thing and something you will cherish. There is only one problem. In a cruel twist of fate, dogs have much smaller life spans than we humans.

This ultimately leads to their natural passing or a point in time where the humane thing to do is put them down. If you’ve ever gone through this process, you know it is absolutely brutal. If you are contemplating doing it for the first time, here are some thoughts that might get you through the process without completely wiping you out mentally.

Pain. The thing you must focus on is the pain your pup is in. If you are considering putting them down, the reason undoubtedly has something to do with pain they are experiencing. This often comes in the form of arthritis or hip problems that are common to many species of pups. Watching them stagger to stand up and drag themselves up the stairs is not only difficult, but you must recognize it is a sign they are in pain.

When considering when to put down your pup, you have to stand back and objectively consider how they are doing. You obviously love your dog. Who can seriously deny that they become a part of your family and a part of you? Nobody! Given this fact, can you really stand by and watch them suffer? Pain medication can only do so much. You also have to ask yourself whether being drugged to the hilt is really what your dog would like?

Most people make the decision to put down their pup well after the decision should have been made. That sounds like a vicious thing to say, but you have to try to be objective. Are you keeping your pup alive through medications for it…or for you? The truth is most of us can’t stand to lose our pets and so we do it for ourselves.

Once you steel yourself and make the decision to put your pup down, there are a couple of things you need to know. First of all, the process is painless. Your pup will be injected with sodium pentobarbital. This will put the pup asleep first. It will then cause cardiac arrest. There is no pain, which gives rise to the phrase of “putting your dog to sleep.”

The second thing to keep in mind is you are going to feel really bad. You’ve just lost a good friend and there is going to be some serious guilt. This is natural. Don’t bottle it up. Try to focus on the fact you did the right thing. No longer will your pup have to struggle in pain to get up. No longer will it has to drag itself up stairs. No longer will it be in pain. Keep focused on this fact and you will slowly, but surely, come to grips with the passing of your friend.