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Being a dog owner, you may never want to think about putting your dog to sleep. Euthanasia for dogs is, at times, the kindest option. Although it is heartbreaking, do your research before the sad day arrives. It may help you to understand all this a little better.

Besides the sadness, you may have many questions in mind about this process. How much pain your dog will feel? When to put a dog down? How much does it cost to euthanize a dog? Can you be with your dog during the procedure?

This article covers the entire dog euthanasia process below. So you will have a better idea of what to expect! 

Essential Questions About Putting your Dog to Sleep

We have answered some questions about this process:

Euthanasia is a medical term for putting your dog to sleep. It’s a procedure to humanely kill your dog to stop its suffering. Experts suggest it when the dog is in a lot of pain due to illness.

You never want to consider letting your dog die. Sometimes euthanasia is the most peaceful option for a dog who won’t recover. And you are not alone in this decision. Your veterinarian will guide you in the process.

What Happens During The Euthanasia Process? 

dog euthanasia

The veterinarian inserts a needle in one of the legs of the pet. Then slowly injects the euthanasia solution. In some cases, they insert a catheter in the vein and give an injection through it. Most of the pets die within 2 to 3 minutes. Their eyes remain open. Some pets urinate or defecate as they take their last breath. 

The most common euthanasia medicine is Pentobarbital (a seizure medication). It shuts down the pet’s heart and brain within minutes. 

Why Vets Use Euthanasia

Having your dog put to sleep

One question that may be on your mind is why veterinarians choose to offer euthanasia as an option. It can seem wrong at times to make a life-altering decision for your pet, but in reality, it is a thing for a very good reason. 

First of all, vets are there in the first place to make sure your dog lives a comfortable life. In the same sense, they want to make sure that if your pet’s life is becoming too uncomfortable to be enjoyable, there is something that can be done. 

If your dog has been suffering from a debilitating illness, there’s no way that they themselves could end the pain. It’s very important that once it’s no longer a comfortable life, there is an option for them. Luckily, euthanasia has proven to be an ethical and comfortable way to peacefully end life. After this procedure, you can contact pet cremation services in Long Beach to take care of your beloved pet’s remains. Losing a pet is never easy, and it can be difficult to think about what comes next.

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Do Pets Suffer When They’re Put To Sleep?

The answer to this question is no. The way the process works is that the veterinarian will ensure that your pet is comfortable before and during the shot. Ultimately, the goal of the procedure is completely centered around ending any suffering. So, it’s only right that they’ve developed the process completely to ensure maximum comfort.

When the IV is administered, the medication will first and foremost bring your pet into an unconscious state before any of its bodily functions are shut down. That way, your dog will not feel anything past the point of the initial injection, which will not be any different from the regular shots they got before. 

Overall, there’s no need to worry. This is a difficult thing to come to terms with, but one thing that can bring you comfort about it is that it’s designed to be completely peaceful.

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Is The Euthanasia Process Painful?

The pet may not feel any pain during the process. It is like going under anesthesia. As your dog loses consciousness, it will make odd noises and movements.

Many vets give sedation before euthanasia. They use sedatives if the pet is frightened or can’t relax. The dog may feel a little bit uncomfortable when the vet injects a needle.

Where Should I Put My Dog To Sleep, at Home or At The Vets?

dog and a vet

If your dog has trouble moving or it gets panicky at the vet’s office, then it’s better to call the vet at your home. If you have other pets at home, they may get confused if their friend leaves the house and does not return.

Dogs search and cry for their deceased friend. Another advantage is that you may not feel the additional stress of driving. Going to the vet and coming back with a dead pet is upsetting.

However, it can be heart-wrenching for you or your children to see their pet’s death. You may not want to see it happen.

Considering this, it is better to take your pet to the vet’s place. There is more staff and equipment to manage if something wrong happens.

How Much Does it Cost to Put a Dog to Sleep?

Dog euthanasia cost varies from area to area. In some regions, the minimum cost at a vet’s office or vet hospital is $50. But some other factors may increase the cost.

For instance, whether your pet needs an IV catheter or other medication. Therefore, you should ask your veterinarian about the list of charges for different procedures. 

Some private companies and organizations offer discounted rates in the form of packages. These packages include euthanasia along with communal or private cremation.

You can also have a vet perform euthanasia at your home. But it is expensive. It depends on how far your veterinarian is from your home. How much it will cost him to travel to your home?

You can request a veterinary technician to perform euthanasia at home. It may lower the cost. There are some in-home service packages from private companies. But they are expensive. 

The Right Time and Signs To Put Your Dog To Sleep

Perhaps the most difficult part is knowing exactly when the right time is to set up the appointment, or on a grander scale, knowing when it’s time to start thinking about euthanizing your own dog. Neither of those things is easy to decide on, so it’s good that you’re here. Next, we’re going to talk about a few things that might help you know if it’s a good idea to take the steps. 

The first reason that you might want to euthanize your own dog is that they are in poor health. As pets age, they become more susceptible to debilitating illnesses that have the potential to cause major discomfort as they progress. Sometimes, it’s hard for them to even move around, let alone eat or take care of some basic needs. 

When they are in such poor health that every day seems like a struggle to get through, that is a large indicator that it might be time to start thinking about euthanasia to end suffering.

The second indicator that it’s time is that they are in pain for another reason. Again, as their age grows, their bones and muscle tissue become less strong. If they were to have a bad fall and hurt themselves to the point of spending the rest of their life in pain, it can be the right time to consider this. 

If they are young, they have a much better chance at a happy, pain-free life. But, if they’re older and their health is consistently declining, it could be better to start the process.

Always remember that your pet doesn’t have any control over how much pain they endure and for how long it lasts. This is why it’s so hard to make that decision for them, but in many cases, pain is felt so strongly that it makes sense to end the level of suffering.

There is another reason you may be considering euthanasia for your dog. If they are suffering from an aggressive problem that cannot be cured, or if you’ve exhausted all other options, it may be the right choice to start the steps. 

Below are the signs that may show your dog’s time is up:

  • Behavior Changes

Although changes in behavior do not always suggest putting your dog to sleep. Sometimes they may want your attention. But if your active and friendly dog becomes aggressive or sensitive. There is some problem.

  • How Often Does Your Dog Cry or Whine

Whining and crying are signs of pain and discomfort. Dogs become aggressive and defensive when they are in pain. If your pet shows such emotions and mood swings for 3 to 4 days. Talk to your vet.

  • Track Your Dog’s Eating and Drinking Routine

Dogs often skip their meals. But if your dog does not eat for 3 to 4 days, it may have some health issues. In such a case, contact the nearest vet. 

Dogs put on weight as they grow older. It is because of the slow metabolic rate. But sudden weight gain or sudden weight loss both are points of concern.

  • Lack of Mobility 

If you find your dog lazy or weak and cannot walk with you like before, he might be ill. Likewise, if your pet cannot move around freely, take him to your vet. Some of the signs that your dog is in physical pain are:

  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in activities 
  • Unusual sitting and sleeping positions

It is not always the end, but your pet needs medical help.

  • Avoiding You 

Dogs start hiding when they feel they are going to die soon. If it happens, your pet will die its natural death within 2 to 3 days. But if you feel that your pet is in pain, contact your vet. 

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Old Pets vs. Young Pets

Man holding dog

Depending on the age of your pet, the steps you take might look a lot different. In fact, the choice you end up making (whether to go through with it or not) might be considered from different points of view in these cases. 

For example, if an older pet falls ill or becomes injured, they have a lesser chance of bouncing back to full recovery than a younger dog would. That’s why euthanasia is overwhelmingly performed on dogs over the age of 10. Similarly, young dogs have better immune systems overall and can move around a lot more. That’s why they have a much easier time dealing with illnesses and most of them remain temporary. 

In sum, the reasons you might be considering euthanasia will probably be very different depending on the age of your pet. To help in any decision-making, the best bet is to set up a call with your veterinarian. They’ve performed these procedures on dogs of all ages, and if you’re unsure if it’s the right time it can help to chat with them.

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Managing Guilt From Pet Euthanasia

If you’re feeling guilty about making the decision to euthanize your dog, it’s important to remember that these feelings are totally normal. In fact, you’re definitely not alone. We really want to emphasize that there are healthy ways to deal with grief as well as come to terms with euthanasia. 

To help manage the guilt and the grief, something that can help us to understand why we feel these things. Euthanasia is one of the hardest decisions pet owners might ever have to make, and it’s natural to feel wrong about it. When your pet’s life is in the equation, there’s no easy way to feel after you’ve made the call.

But what you’ll need to remember after the procedure is that you did everything you could do to preserve that life. Euthanasia should only be considered as the final option to end suffering or other incurable problems. So, if treatment has made it to that point, you can rest assured that there was nothing else you could have done. 

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Grieving The Loss of Your Pet

Pet Euthanasia at Home

When you feel the grief coming on, make sure to take a step back and reassure yourself that you made the right call and that your pet is in a happier, more comfortable place. If you wouldn’t want to live your own life in constant suffering, your pet wouldn’t either. 

Something that can help is that, if you believe in the afterlife, imagine that your pet is waiting for you on the other side. In fact, if you’ve had multiple pets, imagining being reunited with them can alleviate so much of the pain associated with losing a friend. 

In any case, the best move is to try and remind yourself of all the good times and remember the way they made you feel. Your pet has undoubtedly made you a better, happier person, and to thank them for the gifts they gave you can help you feel at peace. If they’ve lived a happy life with you, they had a wonderful time in their years on earth. 

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Pets Bereaving Pets

Do pets know when another pet in your household has passed away? How does death affect pets, and can pets process death in the first place? There are lots of questions surrounding pets bereaving pets and what that might look like. 

While the answer to this still isn’t clear, you can think of it in terms of how animals interact in a pack. Naturally, packs of animals have defined roles, so when one member of your pet’s ‘pack’ is no longer there, sometimes your other pet may seem a little bit uncertain about where they now fit in. 

If you are noticing these changes in a pet after another pet is deceased, they may be grieving:

  • Their appetite fluctuates
  • Acting lethargic or detached
  • Whining or howling
  • Hiding and avoiding socialization

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Saying Goodbye To Your Dog

Saying goodbye is always hard. But, sometimes, it’s the kindest option for your dog. Hours before you put them down, spend a good time together. Serve them their favorite meal, plan a burial, and stay in contact with your vet.

Once the process is over, try to focus on all the good memories. Don’t rush into getting a new dog. Give yourself some time to heal.

Good luck!