Putting Your Dog to Sleep

When is the right time to put your dog to sleep?

A dog’s lifespan is only a fraction of a humans so if you get a dog odds are fairly high that at some point you are going to have to put him down.  Of course no one ever wants to think about that.  However, one day you may be stuck with the decision.  And you may have to decide: Is now the time?

For most dogs they are lucky enough to live to a healthy age of ten to fifteen years old (in human years).  However, some dogs are prone to Cancer (like Boxer’s) and end up getting sick as early as five years old.  We can bring our beloved pets to the animal hospital and they will do what they can but it’s not always enough.  

I spent a few years working in an animal hospital in New Jersey and I can honestly say that for people who are faced with having to decide when and if they should put their dog down it is not an easy decision.  As I write this I am looking at my rescue dog Diesel sleeping soundly on my bed, the thought of him not being here with me someday makes my heart ache.  Yet, I know that someday it will be his turn.

While working at the animal hospital I worked in the critical care unit (CCU) and it was part of my job to care for dogs that I knew were going to be put to sleep (euthanized) at some point.  Often times I would even have to hold them while they were injected with what they called “The dreaded pink juice”.  Once this “juice” was given the dogs would become lifeless in my arms and would drift to sleep never to wake up again.  I cried every time.  Yet, I knew that this was better for the dog because now he was at peace, no more pain, no more suffering.

Deciding when to put your dog to sleep may not be an easy decision but you must consider what is better for your pet.  When he can no longer walk on his own or keep food down is it fair to keep him hanging on? If he has to go back to the hospital every couple of days to get fluids because he is so weak is it fair for him? As much as we want our faithful friends by our sides someday we must let them go.  All we can do is give them a good life and never forget how much we loved them!

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User Comments
  1. girishpuri

    On October 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    very useful

  2. vickylass

    On October 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I love dogs and this the reason why I don’t wish to have one. It’s a responsibility and one should be ready to spare part of one’s free time to the dog. Or be ready to pay its expenses. If one has a dog, one should have it until he dies naturally. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Al B Sure

    On November 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Love my dog. Hate to think about putting him down. However, I don’t want him to suffer either. When the time comes, I’ll do what’s humane. Hopefully, don’t have to do it any time soon.

  4. Al B Sure

    On November 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Love my dog. Hate to think about putting him down. However, I don\’t want him to suffer either. When the time comes, I\’ll do what\’s humane. Hopefully, don\’t have to do it any time soon.

  5. Angela

    On January 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    We love our dog more than anything!! But, sadly he is trying to beat distemper, he has been sick for a little over a month now,a nd it looks like all is going downhill. We are watching our beloved dog get weaker every day. We never wanted to think of putting him down, but we feel that the time has come, and are praying that we do the right thing. As we are typing this we still think -Does he still have a chance of getting better? Very confused, and heart broken. Hope we make the right decision! Thanks for your article. :(

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