You’ve reached the decision that your loved pet has reached a point in their lives when the fairest thing you can do is elect to have them put to sleep.
So what do you do next?
The obvious answer is phone up your normal vet, and book your pet in to be euthanized. Job done.
But what if you don’t have a normal vet? Maybe your dog has never been to the vet. Or not for the last 7 years since its last jab. Perhaps you don’t like your vet that much. Or your cat doesn’t anyway! Maybe you have no vet that you have a relationship with. You don’t really know what to do next:
Google get a lot of searches from people who want to know how to deal with euthanizing their dog. It’s scary, but a common search is:
“How can I put my dog to sleep myself?”
So-called ‘Dr Google’ will help of course – that’s what it does best. Google shows you all the various crackpot ideas from the pet-forums and chat-rooms. But the methods that turn up are generally absolutely dreadful. Both from a humane point of view, and in terms of animal welfare too.
Why do people want to do it themselves? Money is the obvious answer that we all think of. But I’m pretty sure this is only a small proportion of these people. I think the rest are those people who are unable to make a connection with a normal vet for some reason or other.
They fear being judged, or being told off: They worry the vet will say they have been cruel to let their pet go so far. OR maybe the opposite – they think the vet will say they are too early. They worry the vet will say they must have more tests and treatments before the vet will consider euthanasia. And so their hard-won decision to put their dog to sleep is suddenly trounced by the vet’s own instruction. Owners can feel devalued.
Some people get the sense that vets are quick to assert their opinion. That vets can sometimes seem to have too little awareness of how difficult it was for the pet owner to reach a decision at all!
So the pet owner puts off calling the vet as their pet declines. And then suddenly it’s too late: Their pet is in an awful state and they worry the vet will report them for neglect.
Such people are left with no-one to turn to, so they ask Dr Google for a way out…
It may make me unpopular, but I feel for these people. Most of them love their pets, and don’t want to let them go. Then suddenly it’s too late, and because they think vets are so self-righteous or opinionated, they are left with a pet that is suffering. They can’t find any help anywhere…
Yes I have been involved with cases like this in my Quietus Vet role. Not many thankfully. The majority of my people get the timing absolutely right – and that is not at all easy… But those that get it wrong? Who am I to criticise? I started Quietus Vet specifically to improve animal welfare. I created a reliable home visiting service because I know dogs and cats would rather be at home.
And the cases that have gone too far? Well then, I am able to relieve them of their pain and distress sooner. Which is a benefit to them. And if I can stop just one desperate owner from poisoning their pet, then it’s all been worthwhile.
Quietus Vet – Caring Pet Euthanasia. More choice.