Putting your dog to Sleep
The saddest part about being a pet owner is the fact that sooner or later we will need to put our very best and loving friend to sleep. We avoid thinking about it when we buy our dogs but deep down I think all owners know that we are likely to outlive that new puppy or family member. Remember our faithful hounds age 7 times faster than we do and eventually this catches up to us.
Here at Online Dog Blog I have had several close calls with my Labrador in the recent past, My neighbors recently lost their best friend and last but not least my Partner lost her little dog Honey today. This post is dedicated to her.
You know when its time
The change in our dogs over the long period of time they are in our lives can come upon us gradually. From the big pawed monster we first bring home to the cute little fluff ball who steals our heart eventually age starts to set in. Some indicators it is getting close to be the time you need to make the decision to put your dog to sleep.
- Your dog isn’t as quick as they used to be to get up during winter and when its cold.
- Limping can set in as their joints age and they no longer play as much as they used to.
- Grey hair starts to show on the muzzle and coat (wish my grey wasn’t showing!).
- They can lose interest in their food
- You notice they no longer see or hear as well as they used to.
- And last but not least the biggest indicator I can think of is your vet bill starts to creep up on you. More is going wrong with your faithful friend every check up.
I think visiting the vet as often as they remind you or even once every 6 months can help us keep tabs on our pets health. My vet in particular reminds me if I am remiss in taking my Lab down and they run 6 monthly checkups to keep an eye on their condition.
In the end the biggest factor is quality of life. Only you can decide when its time to end your best friends suffering but remember how you would feel if you were as sick as your dog.
Dealing with some of the emotions
For anyone attached to their family pet as much as myself and my family is this isn’t an easy time. The first emotion of having your best friend torn from your life after many many years of companionship cant but help be tears grief and very raw emotion.
You can often be set in routine and habits (all pet owners are) and so feeding your friend at a certain time or after a certain activity can trigger the emotions again. Seeing other pet owners doesn’t help. The other morning I walked past my neighbors as their little dog was being taken away for cremation with Leo and I felt bad let alone how bad it must of hurt them seeing me with my guy.
Some wise advice a friend once gave me is imagine how you feel on your worst day. Rundown, tired, sore sick. Now multiply it by what must be a factor of 20 and that’s how your best friend is feeling towards the end.
Now imagine how they were when you first got them. Care free painless and no longer living a poor quality of life. Chasing a ball in dog heaven (if you happen to believe in that). Remind yourself that your decision as what is right for you dog at the right time.
And the rest is time to heal those raw wounds.
When is it time for a new dog?
I think everyone needs some time to grieve and move on from the emotions you are now feeling. I don’t know that I would consider jumping into a new relationship with a dog straight away. You couldn’t help but compare your new dog to your old one and that’s not fair on your new friend.
When it comes down to it I think dog owners will always be dog owners (circumstances allowing us to have a dog) and sooner or later you will be ready to make a spot in your life for a furry friend.
(Please note that at this time to consider saving a dog from a rescue service. I don’t promote nor agree with pet stores)
RIP Honey – You were loved by Kym & Kevin and it was my greatest pleasure to meet you before your time to move on came.
We know your pain free and bouncing around like a gorgeous little puppy.