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How to Euthanize Your Dog

| Updated August 11, 2017

If you love to have pets, particularly dogs, then it is likely that you will eventually have to deal with your dog’s death. If the death is not sudden or untimely, then you may someday be faced with the decision whether or not to euthanize your dog. This is done in order to stop the pain and suffering that some diseases, or old age is bringing on. This is never an easy decision or an easy time, but with the right knowledge, you can learn to cope with euthanizing your dog.

Talk with your veterinarian to make sure that euthanasia is the best choice for your dog. When animals are old, or have an incurable health problem, often times euthanasia is the most humane choice you can make. It’s important not to hold onto your dog for your own sake. The decision should always be about what is best for your dog.

Make an appointment at your vet’s office for the procedure. If your dog is in pain and suffering, you should try to make this appointment as soon as possible. Again, don’t let your dog linger to make yourself feel better.

Figure out what you plan to do with your dog after the euthanasia takes place. You can discuss the options with your vet. Some people choose to take their dog home for burial, while others leave the dog with the vet for cremation. You can have a group cremation, or it can be individual so you can get the ashes back. Pet cemeteries and private cremation services, are other options.

Decide if you want to be there when your dog is euthanized. If you want to remember your dog a certain way and not be present, then that is your choice, but remember, you being there might bring your dog great comfort. Many owners choose to stay with their dog, petting and comforting them during those final moments.

Know what to expect at the time of euthanasia. You will likely be able to help hold your dog pet her, while the injection is done, and it will take two to 12 seconds for the injection to take effect. You will then be able to have a few private moments with your dog, if you wish. You might be very emotional at this time, so you should have someone with you to drive you and comfort you after the appointment.

Grieve after your dog is euthanized. You should not be ashamed of your feelings after the loss, and you should let your emotions out. This is a difficult time, and it's okay to show that.