Euthanasia: Saying Goodbye to Your Beloved Dog

When a dog is euthanized, they’re administered an overdose of barbiturates that literally stops their heart. The special fluids are given by either an injection or an intravenous catheter. Also, it’s up to you whether or not you want to be there during the process. Some veterinarians actually make home visits in order to euthanize pets, which is better if your dog gets stressed out when visiting a veterinary clinic or hospital.

Prior to the procedure itself, most veterinarians allow you to go into the room and let you say goodbye to your beloved dog, or to simply hold them close in your arms. Once the veterinarian and vet technician enter the room to start the process, be sure to let them know of anything personal you want to keep of your dog’s, such as their collar or a snippet of hair.

How to Euthanize a Dog

Mastiff_SurgerySome pet clinics will provide sedatives for animals that are on the brink of being put down since many of them can sense negative emotion in the room and therefore start to become anxious or nervous. However, it’s generally not standard practice so you may need to request it.

Some dogs, similar to people, are just more responsive than others and may whine or scream in response to receiving an injection. This can be quite distressing for everyone, especially at a time when everyone’s emotions are stretched to the limit.

Most pet owners don’t realize just how fast the solution takes effect and can cause death in mere seconds. If you’re in the room, you’ll feel your dog relax and then slip away. Many times, you can hear a gasping sound emerge from a dog once they die, which is simply air exhaling from their lungs. Also, their nerves will likely twitch as well or the dog can sometimes urinate. These are all normal, automatic reflex actions that occur upon death. Although they’re not painful in any way for the dog, they can be disturbing for others to watch and listen to. Also, your pet’s eyes will not automatically close like in the movies, and will therefore have to be closed by the vet.

Should You or Shouldn’t You Be Present?

The correct answer to this question is simple, it’s based on how you feel. Some pet owners feel overly compelled to be with their beloved dog, while others choose to say their goodbyes beforehand and don’t want to actually watch. Keep in mind that your dog would likely prefer it if you were there. But, if you’re going to get too upset then it’s better to remain outside. The calmer you are, the calmer your dog will be too.

If there’s children involved, they may upset the dog as well and should probably say their goodbyes in advance in order to keep the atmosphere calm. For older more mature children, their presence is usually fine.

Saying Goodbye to Your Furry Best Friend

Before the actual moment arrives, it’s best to think about how you want to tell your beloved dog goodbye. The process is different for everyone. You can choose to give them a heartfelt hug and kiss just before the procedure, or remain by their side throughout the entire process. For some pet owners, it’s simply too sad and overwhelming to watch their dog die. If this is you, it’s possible to return to the room after they’re gone and give them one last farewell.

Many pet owners choose to stay with their dog before, during, and after. But, it’s best to be completely informed about how animal euthanasia works in your particular veterinarian’s office beforehand so there aren’t any unforeseen surprises. Despite your extreme emotional distress, it’s always better to know what to expect. Sadly, some veterinarians insist on doing things their way and expect you to follow their protocol despite what you may be feeling or thinking, which is why it’s crucial to check this out first.

In order to avoid any potential worries or doubts, ask your vet how they handle euthanasia step-by-step.

Post Euthanasia

In most cases, your dog will remain at your veterinarian’s clinic until prearrangements are made to retrieve their body for either cremation or burial. Usually, it’s much easier to make those particular arrangements long before the actual day of the procedure so you focus on your dog rather than all the necessary arrangements. Also, you may need someone to be with you as well.