What happens when you put your dog down

If your dearly beloved dog becomes too seriously ill, then you may have to face the sad reality that it must be put to sleep, which can be a really traumatic time for owners.

This process of euthanasia is very common in a dog’s later years and is carried out when its quality of life has been impacted significantly by an illness or serious accident that it cannot recover properly from.

You will have plenty of time to make your decisions and you should discuss with your vet what he or she thinks is the best move. Although it is your choice, in the end it should come down to what is right for your pet.

How does dog euthanasia work?

The most important facts about putting a dog to sleep is that the procedure is both quick and pain-free. The vet will administer an overdose of a drug similar to an anaesthetic, which will cause your pet to enter into a deep, permanent ‘sleep’.

If the dog is distressed, it may also be given a mild sedative in order to calm it down so that the drug can be delivered with greater ease.

The procedure usually takes place at the vet, but there may be an opportunity to have it carried out within the comfort of your own home, which may make both you and your dog more relaxed.

What happens once your dog has passed?

After your dog has passed away, you need to decide upon the burial plans. Although you may not want to confront these formalities, it is a necessary duty to carry out and it might give you closure on the relationship with your dog, helping you to move on.

The veterinary practice can take the burden away from you by handling the dog itself, which will involve cremation, after which the ashes can be returned to you. These can then be scattered in a place significant to your beloved pet or you can keep them in a container as a memorial.

There are, however, other options, such as finding a place to bury it yourself, such as your back garden, or taking it to a local pet cemetery.

How to cope with loss

Different people have their own coping mechanisms after suffering the loss of a dog. What’s important to remember is that mourning is not an embarrassing or shameful thing to go through - after all, a pet is essentially a member of the family to most owners.

If you feel that you need to take some time off work to collect your thoughts, then do not feel afraid to do so. If you have children, they will likely need some comfort too, as they typically struggle a lot more with this kind of loss.

It is important to not feel regret about making the decision to put your dog to sleep - remember that you did it because your pet was suffering and if anything it was a final act of kindness, allowing it to pass on with dignity and not suffering.

Written by: Hannah