Here's What You Should Consider Before Putting Your Dog Down.
Most of us have experienced the loss of a beloved pet. It's not fun and can be devastating. The underlying factor of confusion is the question of when to let your dog go. We love them so much yet don't want to see them suffering. And there is the reality of the financial means to keep the dog healthy and alive. When to put your dog down is complicated, in that with our conflicting feelings and varying opinions of veterinarians, we are left more confused and guilt-ridden should we choose the worst. Here are some considerations if you are wondering if you should put your dog down.
Should I Put My Dog Down?
Consider your dog's welfare ahead of your own feelings. Does the dog have a terminal illness? If so, consult with the vet so you know what stages the dog may experience. Then ask yourself whether or not you are able emotionally or financially to witness it.
Is your dog suffering from pain that medication does not successfully alleviate? Will continued treatment improve your dog's quality of life or simply prolong it? These are question that you need to divorce yourself of emotion of and consult with the veterinarian.
Has your dog aged enough that he/she has lost his control of bodily functions? Dogs are meant to be dogs and if your dog cannot urinate or defecate on his own, as well as take stairs or stand up, then the dog has ceased to be a the dog he/she should be and their quality of life is poor.
Does your dog still have an appetite and wants to eat? If not, this is a sign that the end is near. And examining the gums to check the color can tell if your dog is getting enough oxygen. Their gums should be a healthy pink in color.
- Can you afford to keep the dog alive financially? So many of us get caught up in the emotion of keeping our beloved animals around that we apply desperate measures such as credit cards. Then when our pet passes, we are left with the debt and more grief.
Euthanasia and Putting a Dog Down
Remember that the reason that we take our pets to the veterinarian is to keep their lives healthy. A veterinarian is trained to save lives and ensure our pets live long ones. And vets have differing opinions on whether or not a dog needs to be put down.
People will always have their opinions as you contemplate this heart-wrenching decision, but the bottom line is that you are the one in control of whether or not to put your dog down.
Euthanasia allows you to be able to be with your dog when they pass, should you choose that route. It is a good veterinarian that will tell you honestly what is in the dog's best interest.
... and as we are on this topic, my brother's dog was recently put down. As it was a sad day for all of us, we know that "Kane" is in a better place. Here are some photos to help remember and honor Kane's life.
Kane was not your typical dog. He always thought he was the boss. My brother, being a dog trainer and hunting guide, had never encountered a dog such as Kane. When my brother's first daughter was born, Kane would knock her down when she was learning to walk because he was jealous. He also fought my brother when kenneled, looking at him and growling before entering the kennel, then growling once more when my brother shut it. Yet this dog loved my brother. One night years ago when my brother was in deep despair and sitting on the kitchen floor in the dark, Kane, "Mr. Tough Guy" awakened from his nap and put his head in my brother's lap. Never had he done such a thing.
At 14 years of age and an incredible hunting dog, Kane developed a degenerative muscular disorder that came and went. My brother worked with it consulting with vets. But there came the day when he knew it was time to let Kane go. So after taking him for one final retrieval, he and his wife fed Kane chocolate chip cookies and banana bread with chocolate syrup. The vet came to the house and gave the injection and Kane passed peacefully in my brother's arms. His ashes will be spread on the hunting grounds that he immensely enjoyed.