Being a pet parent is one of the greatest joys in life, but sadly, it can also be one of the most devastating. Unfortunately, canines do not live nearly as long as they should, and at some point in your pup’s life, you may have to make one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to face: whether or not you should put your four-legged family member to sleep.
It sounds absolutely horrific, but when a dog has developed a serious illness and medical interventions have done nothing, or old age has just taken its toll on your furry best friend, putting him to sleep is the most humane thing you can do. It prevents serious pain and suffering; the last thing you want your fur-baby to experience. However, while putting your dog to sleep may be the best decision, it doesn’t make it any easier. You are bound to be overwrought with guilt.
If putting you have recently put your furry best friend to sleep or you are going to have to make that decision soon, you are probably wondering how to cope with all-encompassing guilt. Here are some tips that can help to ease your pain so you can start the healing process….
Be Kind to Yourself
When you have to make the decision to put your dog to sleep, being hard on yourself is a natural reaction. You’ll find yourself wondering if you made the right choice or if there was anything else you could have done. Remember that you made the best decision for your pet; the most humane choice. He is no longer suffering; he no longer needs to struggle with pain.
Build a Memorial
Building a memorial is a wonderful way to honor your beloved pet and an effective way to begin the healing process. Lay your four-legged loved one to rest in a beautiful dog urn or casket. Hold onto things that remind you of him; his dog bed, his favorite plush dog toy, a pair of dog pajamas or a dog sweater, his dog collar and tags, his dog harness, or his dog bowl, perhaps.
Talk to Someone
Don’t hold your feelings in. Instead, talk to someone about how you are feeling; a family member, a trusted friend, your veterinarian, or even a therapist. Talking about your feelings will help you cope and better navigate your emotions so you can heal.
It might be difficult, but consider donating some of your pet’s belongings. For example, you could donate any dog food, dog shampoo, his dog food container, and any other unused items or items that are in good condition to an animal shelter. It might be hard to do, but think of how much good you’ll be doing for all of those other animals!
Losing a four-legged family member is one of the hardest experiences a pet parent will ever face; especially when the decision was made by you. These tips will help grieve and heal so that you can overcome the guilt that you are bound to feel.
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