The decision to put your pup to sleep

Dogs are absolutely wonderful pets. As the years pass, they become an integral part of your family. Unfortunately, the life span of a pup is not as long as ours which leads to some difficult decisions.

The Decision to Put Your Pup to Sleep

All dog breeds are unique, but the one constant is that they do not live as long as we do. As your pup ages, you will inevitably be faced with some very difficult decisions. One of the hardest is putting your pup down. The decision to put your pup down often comes at a point when you cannot help but recognize the pup is in a lot of pain or has severely restricted movement or both. In making the decision, it sometimes helps to know what happens.

Euthanasia is the practice of terminating life in a painless manner. While this is a highly controversial topic when it comes to severely ill humans, it is less so with pups. Society has come to accept that animals in severe pain should be mercifully released from it. The process can be undertaken in different ways, but the most common is through an injection. Your pup is given a shot of barbiturate that eliminates pain. The quantity is sufficient that your pup will actually overdose with the heart, lungs ceasing to function, but only after unconsciousness occurs. In short, it is a merciful, painless death, but that does not make it easy for you.

There is an old adage that if you really love something, you will let it go. This is pretty much the decision you will face with your pet. Inevitably, you will have to recognize that your pup has reached a point where it is in constant distress. While you probably can’t bear to think of doing the act, you have to determine if you are being selfish by not doing so. Nobody, pet or human, wants to live in constant pain. It is misery defined. While you love your pet dearly, you have to determine what is best for it.

One of the surefire ways to deal with this issue is to ask your vet. He or she can give you options on any treatment for your pup and pain management issues. Vets are also trained to be subtle, but frank, about when it is time to let your dog go. From exams, they can recognize when a pet is having a very hard time and tell you as much.

Once you make the decision, you need to prepare yourself for it. It is going to be very hard, just like losing a family member. Don’t feel guilty afterwards. You have done the right thing in eliminating the misery your loved one was suffering. It will also help to commiserate with friends with pets. Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself.

At the end of the day, our dogs represent an integral part of our lives. That being said, there comes a time when you must recognize that your pup is miserable and take the step you dread, but know is right.