A time can present itself when medically and practically there is little or nothing you or a caregiver can do for your pet; when the body is so aged, weakened or diseased as to make recovery impossible.
At such a time, the only humane option may be to euthanize your dear pet; difficult as such as decision may be.
Having a pet put down may be a reason that has to be taken either in the interests of the well being of the family or in the interests of the pet itself.
Whatever be the reason behind the decision to euthanize your pet, one would be better prepared for the event if one is aware of the procedures involved and knows what to expect:
- Firstly determine if this is the only option left to you, and if it is one that you can live with. Make sure that there are no lingering doubts and ‘what-ifs’ in your mind. If there are, clear them with your vet. Understand realistically what the situation entails and the repercussions of putting down or not putting it down at that juncture, so there is no guilt or avoidable regret later.
- Make an appointment with your vet to discuss the method of euthanizing to be employed:Intravenous euthanasia is the most commonly used method, wherein a high dose of barbiturate is used intravenously to end the pet’s life in the most peaceful of ways.
- Concentrated gas introduced in a small chamber is another way to euthanize a pet; this is a method usually used only for smaller animals.
- Sometimes an injection is given into the heart or the body cavity of the animal. This method however can be torturous for the animal as it may take a considerable amount of time for it to die. This method is illegal in some places as well.
- When a larger animal such as a horse or cow is required to be euthanized, the only option may be to shooting. Though it may seem barbarous, when done accurately, it is quick and the animal may scarcely be aware; death being nearly instantaneous.
- When the time arrives, you should steal yourself to say good bye to your pet. Take your time and do this. Not saying good bye properly may be denying yourself closure that you may deeply regret in the times to come.
- Consider how you may want to dispose of the remains of your pet; whether you would like to cremate, or bury. There may be restrictions and/or permission required in order to be able to inter your pet on your own property.
Finally, take the time you mourn for the passing of a dear friend.