There comes a time when we must let go of our pets. There are many reasons why our beloved companions must be euthanized, but knowing the reason doesn’t always help with the grief. Before you go to the veterinarian to have your animal put to sleep, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of the process. It may not make things easier, but at least you know what is happening.

If your animal is going to be euthanized, you must first grasp the reason for this. Terminally ill pets or pets who are in a constant state of suffering (whether from old age, illness, etc.) are often euthanized, because it is believed that the pets deserve to be free of the pain. Veterinarians do not resort to euthanasia unless it is needed. So, if a veterinarian recommends euthanasia for your pet, it is probably for the best. You can, however, get a second opinion before you go along with the process.

Euthanasia for pets is preformed at the veterinarian’s office. Most vets will allow the owners to watch the process or say farewell right before the procedure. If you have a large animal, such as a horse, then the vet will visit your home. Depending on local laws and the vet’s policies, the process will consist of one or two stages. Both stages involve intravenous injection (shot into the vein) and produce quick results. The one-stage process involves a shot of a barbiturate. In small doses, barbiturates act like anesthesia. In large doses, they cause the animal to go into a state of unconsciousness. Within seconds, respiratory and cardiac arrests follow. Since the animal is unconscious, euthanasia is considered a quick, peaceful death. The two-stage process is very similar, except the animal is given one shot that induces unconsciousness, followed by a different shot that causes death. Many owners prefer this method, because they have more time to tell their animals goodbye. It is normal for the pet’s body to react after the shots have been given. Sometimes, the animal may spasm, urinate, or exhale.

Prior to euthanasia, you need to have burial or cremation plans in place. If you choose a burial, then find a funeral service that specialized in pet burials. It’s fairly easy to find a pet cemetery close to home. There are also burial gardens for pets. The gardens are less intimidating than cemeteries and feature flowers and plants all year round. You may also bury your pet at your home if local and state laws allow. If you choose a burial, then consider purchasing a pet casket. You can also have a headstone made for the plot.

Cremation is growing in popularity. Many owners like the idea of being able to scatter their pet’s ashes around the places they used to visit together. You can even find services that offer burials at sea where you scatter the ashes into the ocean. Owners also like to keep the ashes in the home to keep the memory alive. You can find beautiful urns to match décor or personalities at pet stores.

Euthanasia is considered a humane way to put an end to suffering. Unfortunately, animal shelters across the country are forced to euthanize millions of animals each year. Before you go to a pet store and purchase a pet, consider dropping by your local animal shelters. If you need to get rid of your pet for any reason whatsoever, try to find a No Kill shelter. These shelters are rising in popularity, because of their anti-euthanasia policies. However, the shelters fill up quick and are sometimes forced to turn away animals.

If your pet is going to be euthanized, talk to your veterinarian about the procedure first. Your vet can provide you with literature that explains and describes the process and literature that can help you cope. Have burial or cremation plans in place prior to euthanasia. You may choose to take your pet’s ashes to the dog park or bury him in a pet cemetery. When you start looking for a new pet, consider visiting a shelter. By adopting from a shelter, you are saving the life of a pet that may otherwise had to undergo euthanasia.

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This article was provided by a site featuring dog PetSafe, SportDOG and Innotek.