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Dog Friendly Tips: Death of a Dog

The death of a dog is a very serious problem to a great many people. Too many otherwise intelligent pet owners simply can't bring themselves to realise that every life has a limit. When their conscientious veterinarian assures them it is time to say goodbye to their pet, instead of taking this advice they say goodbye to the vet and take their pet to another.

It is helpful to consider the life expectancy of the breeds of dogs. If you know what to expect in advance, you will not be surprised at death, nor will you ask the impossible of your veterinarian.

There comes a time when you must ask yourself what's best. Should you let our dog die of old age, general breakdown, a growth, kidney disease, or other causes? Or shall we bravely say, "He has led a good life, he's no longer enjoying what little is left of it, he's blind and deaf, he’s in some pain; he'll continue to be in pain until put painlessly to sleep"?

It takes courage to make such a decision. When the time comes for the owner to decide what to do with his or her ageing pet, there are some general facts which should be known. They may make the decision easier.

There is no pain to euthanasia if properly administered. A veterinarian can inject a few cc of an anaesthetic into a pet's vein and he droops his eyes, nods his head, sighs as he feels release from pain, goes to sleep. He just never wakens.

An animal does not miss tomorrow. Suppose that you couldn't think ahead. If you had no imagination, you couldn't project yourself into the future. Mentally and physically you would live only in this moment - not even two seconds in the future. We can anticipate a fine dinner party and see images of it in our mind's eye. We can look forward in winter to next spring's flowers and thus make our winter more bearable. But an animal lives in the present alone, without any thought to the future. If he dies, existence merely terminates. He is being deprived of nothing, for he has no conception of the future.

The death of a pet is not his loss so much as it is ours. Your home will be empty without his presence. True, for the past year he probably hasn't been the friend we knew and loved; he's been ailing and not himself. But propinquity has endeared him to us and we see him as he used to be; we remember all the fine qualities he once bad. When we hesitate to bring his life to an end, we are unconsciously thinking of ourselves. We may even allow dogs to suffer pain and discomfort because we don't want to lose our friend; we don't want our serene existence upset by no longer having our dog around us.

Your dog is going to die someday. We must face this, even though we shrink from it. Isn't it better to stop his suffering by terminating his existence by our own volition than to allow him to linger in pain or extreme old age?

Read more on death of your dog and burial.

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