How to Prepare for a Dog’s Death

The death of your pet is a distressing experience and may take a long time to come to terms with it. If you’ve adopted a dog, you want to believe it will always be around for you to cuddle and play with.

Sadly, humans are likely to outlive their pet dogs in most cases. Here are 7 ways to deal with your dog’s death:

1. Spend time with your dog

Spend the maximum amount of time with your pooch during his last days. This will enable you to go begin a grieving process over which you have control. Pet them, play with them and delight them to make memories.

Pamper your pet and let him know how much you love him. If he is able to move around, walk with him to his favorite place, feed him tasty treats, let him play with his favorite toys, or simply spend time together indoors. In case your pup is too ill to be active, sit near him and stroke his fur to comfort him and ease his pain.

2. Take pictures and other keepsakes

Grab your smartphone and start clicking pictures.  Your pooch probably won’t look his best in those photos, but you may want to see them afterwards. You can look at them later on to remind yourself of how your dog was too weak to survive and is no longer suffering pain.

There are some other interesting keepsakes that you can collect to remember your dog. You can buy a paw print kit and make an impression of his paw. This memento will serve as a comforting reminder of something that your dog had once touched.

Another idea is to preserve some of your pet’s fur. If your dog’s fur is long, you can trim some, and bind it with a ribbon. You can keep this along with the paw print in a special box to retain a part of your pet with you.

3. Find a vet you trust

To take care of a dying dog, it is important to consult a vet you are comfortable with. Some vets specialize in palliative care and provide services such as euthanizing at home.

It is imperative to find a reliable vet with whom you can openly discuss procedures and talk about your concerns. If you are considering euthanizing your dog, discuss the time and place, and think about whether you would like to be present.

Euthanizing is a difficult decision and may lead you to question whether you did the right thing. A good vet will ensure that your dog has been treated in all possible ways and only adviseeuthanasia when it is the only option left to end your pet’s suffering.

4. Acknowledge grief

If you haven’t experienced a major loss before, you may not be able to fully comprehend the emotions you are going to go through. Grieving for a dog can be quite similar to grieving for a human loved one.

Know that you may experience different stages of emotions, such as distress, denial, and even anger. Do not attempt to shut down your emotions as a response to your dog’s death. Let yourself feel the sadness through all stages of grief. Feelings of sadness provide you with the opportunity to say farewell and achieve a sense of closure.

Knowing that a pet is going through his last few days makes people react in different ways. If you don’t feel anticipatory grief, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love your pooch. Each person has a different way of coping with loss, so it’s best to let your emotions flow naturally without worrying about them.

5. Surround yourself with friends and family

Make it a point to meet caring and supportive friends and family members who can comfort you. Emotional support is important to help you prepare and deal with the loss of a pet.

Friends and family members can offer you a shoulder to cry on and also help divert your thoughts. Before your pet’s death, they can accompany you to vet visits to make the experience less distressing.

Simply call up a loved one when you are feeling too upset, or invite them over to spend some time with them. A dog’s death may be an emotionally draining experience, leaving you devoid of energy to attend to menial household chores. Friends and family members can come over to help around or stay the night at your place if you feel lonely after your pet’s demise.

6. Talk to your children

If you have children, they are also likely to be affected by your dog’s demise. Prepare them for the time in advance by gradually letting them know that their pooch is sick and will soon pass away.

Keep the explanation simple for kids so that they can understand easily. If you are considering euthanizing your dog, make the children understand this is the best option for the pet as he will be pain-free after death.

Letting your children know about your dog’s impending death will give them time to say goodbye. Encourage them to spend time with their pup and care for him for closure.

7. Find ways to say goodbye

It may be difficult to think about what to do with your dog’s body after he passes away. However, making arrangements in advance is a good idea so that you don’t have to make any decisions while you are overwhelmed with grief.

Many dog owners prefer to have their pet’s body cremated. Talk to your vet to help you arrange for a cremation. You can choose to opt for a private cremation to have his ashes returned to you. Keep your dog’s remains in a container or scatter them in a special area.

If you go for a burial, you can either have his body buried in a pet cemetery or on your own property. In case you opt for a home burial, consult your local health department to find out whether it is legal to do so.

If you are unable to handle your pet’s remains on your own, consider veterinary disposal. Ask your vet the exact way to go about it and the cost of the service.

Preparing for a dog’s death is, undoubtedly, an emotionally exhausting experience and nothing except time can heal the pain. Spending some quality time with your dog and consulting a trustworthy vet will leave you satisfied that you did all you could for your pooch.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: