How Much Pain Do You Suppose a Dog Endures When Being Put to Sleep?
I had wondered " do dogs feel pain when they are put to sleep?" and I think I figured out the answer. After personally observing, attending +comforting family dogs during the Euthanization process, interviewing veterinarians and pet loss experts I would guess that the pain is mostly felt by the pet parent. Your dog will usually be sedated first and then injected with drugs like Pentobarbital (Seizure med) in a high dose which very quickly renders them unconscious and stops their heart and brain function in a minute or two. (not sure what drug they are using these days) This type of Euthanization is considered humane by Veterinarians but I have not checked if any studies have been performed to determine if pets feel pain during this process.
After personally watching the procedure while holding my dogs, after the final needle is inserted into the vein the dog shuts down almost immediately and it seems very peaceful. No twitches, screaming or anything that I have personally experienced.
NOTE- I always have the Vet check the heart 30 seconds after my dogs are put down to ensure the heart has stopped and they have passed on.
GUILT plays a big factor!
The pain as I mentioned is then endured by us, the pet parent in most cases. We question whether the Euthanization performed was too soon or whether we could of done more financially for our dog especially in the case of cancer.For some strange reason, we find it hard to accept that a family dog will probably only live a maximum of 15 years if they are healthy.
What is even more difficult is coming to terms that a best friend, confidante and unconditional supporter is no longer with us and some of the fondest memories in our life seem lost. Your dog may have been a part of an unbelievable new romance, a positive career change, a support mechanism for when a relationship ended, or when a human family member passed.
What I always suggest to people who have put their dog to sleep is to focus on the positives.
Relationships with family members or friends who have passed sometimes seem trivial next to the loss of our canine kids. Your dog never insulted you, demanded money or competed with you and always greeted you with a kiss and a hug, so the pain can actually be stronger when losing a dog.
Contrary to pet grief experts who tell us to celebrate and mourn a pet for quite a duration before finding another, I have a different belief. While I believe in mourning, I also believe in finding a new 4-legged pal ASAP. I am not suggesting the next day or a week later, but maybe in a month or more if you can handle it financially find a rescue or pup. The love of your new dog and the responsibility will ease the pain on your dog passing as your new dog will take up your time, provide the love that you are now missing and start new experiences together.