Preparing Children and Other Pets for Euthanasia
Chia is our 15-year-old Chow Chow; my husband and I were present at her birth. Chia stumbles and does her business as she walksshe no longer squats. She sometimes struggles to stand up and to lie down like she really has to think about it, and then throws herself on the floor. The hair above her eyes is falling out.
We called the vet and he suggested putting her down, which leaves me with several questions. First, I want to know if my two teenage children should be there with us when this takes place. Also, I have heard that I would have to leave her at the vetand I don't want to do that. Can we stay by her side till the end? I also rescued a seven-month-old Chihuahua three months ago. They love each other, too. Should I take her with us?
Chia is not just a dog…she is like my daughter. We don't want to be selfish and we want to do what is right for her and help my kids through this process.
Millie, I am so impressed by your ability to ask all the right questions even as you anticipate your enormous loss. I will give you my opinion, and then I hope we can speak by phone either before or after Chia's death.
Being with your dog during euthanasia
It should absolutely be your choice whether to stay in the room while the vet injects Chia with the euthanasia fluid. The vet may take the dog into his treatment area to put a catheter into the vein, and he may give her a little sedation, but then you should be able to be with her. If this vet doesn't allow that, please find another vet to do the euthanasia. A mobile vet who performs euthanasia at home is ideal, but can be hard to find.
Your children attending the euthanasia
This should be their choice after you explain to them what happens. You should tell them how fast, peaceful and painless a procedure it is. Also, prepare them with the knowledge that an animal’s eyes stay open after death. Most kids will be glad they went, and unfortunately, their imaginations might make the event worse if they don't participate.
Your other dog
Yes, it is advantageous for the other dog to see her companion's body. She will spend less time searching for Chia in the house. However, if the little dog gets scared at the vet, or if her presence distracts you from being there for Chia, then you can leave her home. She will be fine either way.
Please call Pet Loss Hotline at (877) 474-3310 any time.