For most people, losing a dog is like losing a member of the family. It is very difficult to imagine life without the creature that has given us such-joy and love over the years. However, death is the inevitable end for all living beings. As a dog owner, you must be prepared to deal with the practical and emotional realities of losing your beloved pet, whether death is brought on by old age, accident, or sudden illness.
Since you are your dog's primary caretaker, it may sometimes become your responsibility to answer the following question: Is my dog suffering from extreme and irreversible pain and suffering so much so that his life is devoid of pleasure? Make a rational assessment of your dog's condition, taking into account the quality of his life over a period of time. Consult your veterinarian, asking her or him to tell you the prognosis for relief or recovery. If, after much informed consideration, you can answer yes to the above question, it may be necessary to euthanize your dog. While your veterinarian may advise you, this difficult decision is ultimately up to you.
Your pet will not suffer during the procedure, which consists of a single, painless injection. Some veterinarians will administer the lethal dose in your own home, where you and your loved ones can surround your dog in its beloved environment.
Think about whether or not you would like to be present when the injection is administered. You may wish to be there for the dog's final moments, or it may be too difficult a task. If you plan to be present, try to bring someone along who can help you through this trying event. If you can't bring yourself to be there, do not chide or accuse yourself of letting your dog down; it is very difficult to predict how one will respond to the death of a loved one. Concentrate on the warmth and sense of belonging you have given your dog throughout his life, and the gift of relief you are now bestowing upon your suffering pet.
Once your dog has died, you will have to decide what to do with his remains. Ask your veterinarian about cremation and burial. Most veterinarians can arrange to have dogs cremated. If you wish to retain your dog's ashes, be sure to warn the crematorium ahead of time.
Burying your dog in a pet cemetery allows you to visit your dog's final resting spot whenever you wish. Pet cemeteries offer plots, headstones, and monuments just as human cemeteries do. Aside from your veterinarian, you may also want to consult with your local humane society for respected pet cemeteries in your area.
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