I would like to start by saying that if home euthanasia is an option for you then it is by far the best choice for your dog. Check out my blog post here to see why home euthanasia is ideal.
However, there are ways that you can make the euthanasia experience gentle and comforting for your dog in a hospital setting.

THE 5 TIPS TO MAKING EUTHANASIA COMFORTABLE FOR YOUR DOG

IN A HOSPITAL SETTING

1. STAY WITH YOUR DOG

It is important that your dog does not feel the fear of his/her owner leaving them alone just prior to euthanasia. Stay with your dog for the procedure if you can. It breaks our hearts when we see dogs looking for their owners as we are giving the final injection.
Also, try to avoid having the vet staff take your dog away from you initially to place the IV catheter. Ask them if it is possible for them to place the catheter in the room with you present.

2. SEDATION

Ask your vet for an oral sedative prior to arrival to relax your dog. If your dog is too sick for oral medications then you may want to request a light sedative intramuscular injection upon arrival instead.
If your dog is aggressive or severely fearful then you may want to request an anesthetic intramuscular injection.
Let the vet know you would like the sedative to be administered in the exam room with you present.
Be sure that your vet’s euthanasia protocol includes an IV injection of propofol to anesthetize your dog prior to the IV euthanasia injection.

3. BRING YOUR DOG’S BED OR BLANKET FROM HOME

The hospital setting is often cold and sterile. Bring comfy blankets, a pillow and maybe the dog bed to make it as cozy as possible for your dog. Do not allow your dog to be placed on a cold exam table.

Ask if your dog can be euthanized on the floor on the blankets, especially if your dog is large. If you have a small dog you may want to hold him/her in your lap for the procedure. Try to avoid the tables as they can cause fear and discomfort.

You make want to bring something for yourself to sit on while on the floor with your dog.

4. BRING A FAVORITE TREAT OR FOOD

If your dog is still able to eat then you may want to bring a final meal or yummy treats to distract your dog when he/she is receiving the first sedative injection.
A favorite toy may also bring comfort for your friend.

5. TRY TO BOOK THE APPOINTMENT DURING QUIET BUSINESS HOURS

If possible try to avoid the busy times of the clinic. When booking the appointment ask the receptionist which time would be best to provide quiet and calm.

REMEMBER, YOU ARE YOUR DOG’S HEALTH CARE ADVOCATE

If you are uncomfortable with any part of the procedure then let the hospital staff know.
You may want to call ahead and ask what their procedure is and if you would be able to stay with your dog throughout every step. If they say no, then I would look elsewhere.
This is a very sensitive, difficult time for you and your dog. Do everything in your power to make it as comfortable and as gentle as possible, for both of you.

If HOME EUTHANASIA may be an option for you then check out my blog on Why Home Euthanasia is The Best Choice

Please join my facebook support group – Grieving Dog Moms of Long Island where we can support you through this difficult time. You don’t have to be from Long Island to join. All are welcome.

Wishing all of you navigating euthanasia comfort and peace during this sad time.
With Love,

Dr.Loudon

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