Putting down an anxious dog

You may feel regret, depression, and even anxiety after you put a dog to sleep. These suggestions for coping with anxious feelings and regret after saying good-bye to your dog are inspired by a Zen parable about two monks. A ritual like this can help you cope with anxiety. There is a Zen story about two monks walking down a street after a heavy rain. Arriving at a corner, they came upon a beautiful girl in fine clothing unable to cross the muddy street without getting filthy.

Lifting her in his arms, he carried her to the carraro axle parts side. She thanked him and went on her way. The two monks walked in silence for a long time, the older one in perfect equanimity and enjoying the beautiful countryside, while the younger one grew more and more brooding and distracted, so much so that he could keep his silence no longer and suddenly burst out.

These suggestions on how to cope with anxiety after putting a dog to sleep will help you forgive yourself for not protecting your dog. I was inspired to share these tips after reading this parable of the two monks in my morning devotion time this morning.

If you keep reliving the moment you decided to put your dog down, if you keep wondering whether euthanasia was the right decision, then you are robbing yourself of your life.

Today, right now, is the present — and there is nothing you can do about the past. It is over. It is finished. Coping with anxiety involves being in the present moment, and not letting the past control you.

Awareness of your feelings is the first step in learning how to cope with anxiety. The older one was able to make a decision in the present moment, and let it go.

He moved on. After putting your dog down, you and your family or friends may process the experience in different ways. Accept this. Be open to allowing your family and friends have a different experience of putting a dog down — one that may not involve anxiety or regret. When you decided to put your dog to sleep, you considered everything you knew about the situation. You thought about what the veterinarian said about putting a dog down.

Like the older monk in the parable, you made a decision based on your instincts and information — and you have to trust that you made the right choice.

Anxiety in Dogs: How to Spot and Help it

The monk who carried the woman made a decision, put her down, and moved forward in his life. The second monk kept carrying the woman in his mind; he let the weight of the past overshadow his present moment. Have you taken a few minutes to sit quietly, and let your soul say good-bye to your dog? In 7 Beautiful Pet Memorials and GiftsI share more suggestions for saying good-bye to a dog with love. Take time to think about the best way to resolve your decision to put your dog down, and choose a type of pet memorial that fits you and your personality.

Many, many dog owners are overwhelmed with feelings of regret, sadness, depression, and anxiety after putting a dog to sleep. Instead of processing the grief and working through it, they ignore it.

If your anxiety about putting your dog to sleep is unmanageable, call a distress line or a counselor. I welcome your thoughts on coping with anxiety after putting a dog to sleep.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. October 14, hopingfor. The Parable of the Two Monks There is a Zen story about two monks walking down a street after a heavy rain. Post Navigation. Related Posts:.Most veterinary professionals will refrain from giving their personal opinion when it comes to putting your dog down. Why are vets so reluctant to give personal opinions when it comes to putting your dog to sleep?

You may wonder why vets — even a veterinarian who you have known for decades — relies on a quality of life scale when answering your questions about putting your dog to sleep. It's true that your vet can tell you what the tests say; they can tell you what they see. But those things are based on a singular moment in time. As senior dogs or dying dogs approach their final months or even yearsour pets experience good days and bad days, and only someone who experiences the sum total of those good and bad moments, and who has seen that same dog in healthier stages of their life, can form a complete picture of the animal's current well-being.

Each factor is rated on a scale and the seven numerical values are then added together to get a number between Numerical values are one part of the when to put down your dog checklist, but the vets' quality of life scale also considers seven additional factors alongside the numerical scale for a better assessment:. Is your dog currently in pain? If medication is not helping to relieve the dog's pain, how often would you gauge that your pet is in pain?

Pain is the first and most important aspect of when to put down your dog checklist and life scale to consider, and the rest of assessment will come alongside this factor. A score of 1 indicates that your dog is in pain most of the time and that pain cannot be relieved through medication or other medical intervention.

A score of 10 indicates that your dog is experiencing no pain at all or is experiencing minimal normal age-related pain. Is your dog currently eating regularly or are they refusing food? If they are slow to eat or are reluctant to eat, how much interest do they show in food or eating overall?

putting down an anxious dog

Appetite evaluation is an important part of when to put down your dog checklist and life scale. A score of 1 indicates that your dog is refusing to eat regularly and that you are noticing subtle signs of weight loss or signs of malnutrition. A score of 5 indicates that your dog is eating a little slower than usual, often dividing one meal into multiple portions or simply not finishing a meal like they used to. It may also indicate that your dog is eating fairly well but is reluctant to eat a few times a week.

A score of 10 indicates that your dog is eating normally. Is your dog currently drinking normally or are they drinking more or less than usual? If their thirst has changed, is there a reasonable medical explanation for this change or is your dog simply not interested in drinking? A score of 1 indicates that your dog is refusing to drink and is showing signs of dehydration.

Dog Anxiety Problems – How to Deal with an Anxious Dog

A score of 5 indicates that your dog is drinking water but that their usual drinking patterns have changed. A score of 10 indicates that your dog is drinking normally. Are they currently maintaining regular grooming habits? Do they experience periodic loss of control of their bladder or bowel? If they do experience bladder or bowel control loss, are they mobile or do they spend periods of time sitting or lying in their own feces?

Is your dog completely immobile and incontinent? If your Fido is unable to groom themselves properly, they may require assistance in their daily grooming habits. If, however, your dog is unable to stand or walk, they may experience pressure sores that can lead to serious infection.Like us, dogs have anxieties and fears. When dogs are anxious, they may engage in repetitive or displacement behaviors to relieve their stress.

For example, when we are anxious, we may pace, bite our nails, or play with our hair. Dogs may also pace, groom, and more. Some dog anxiety behaviors may lead to property destruction, may cause us harm, or may simply be undesirable to our human sensibilities. This may include —. In fact, suppression of these displacement behaviors, through pain and dominance methods, will make the problem worse, because pain increases stress and uncertainty.

One of the best ways to help a dog deal with his anxiety issues, is by slowly desensitizing him to the problem stimulus. In the desensitization process, we start with a weak version of the stimulus that is triggering the anxiety attack. The stimulus must be weak enough, so that my dog is able to stay calm in its presence. Then, I get him to focus on me, by doing eye-contact commands or simple obedience exercises. If my dog is able to focus and stay in-control, I reward him with a very high priority treat.

For desensitization purposes, I usually bust out the really good stuff. I try to pick a highly aromatic or smelly treat that my dog loves, but does not usually get to eat.

The smell will help to engage his nose, and further distract him from the source of his anxiety. When he is comfortable with this exercise, is calm, and able to follow simple commands, I very slowly raise the strength of the problem stimulus. I make each session short, fun, and very rewarding. In this way, my dog learns alternative behaviors for dealing with stressful situations. He also learns to associate something that was previously a source of fear and stress, with something positive nice smells, yummy treatsand with being calm.

Another important aspect of helping an anxious dog, is to create a calm and predictable environment for him, in his daily life. I tried the TTouch method briefly on my Shiba Inu, but it did not seem to have much of an effect on him.

Desensitization exercises, together with a fixed routine and consistent rules, helped us most. There are a variety of products designed to help calm our dogs. The attraction of such products, is that they require little to no work from us.

However, it is also unclear how effective they truly are. DAP is a synthetic chemical that was developed based on a hormone produced by nursing mother dogs. Mother dogs produce this hormone to help their puppies feel calm and secure. It also helps the mother dog establish a positive bond with her puppies. However, it is unclear whether DAP helps with anxiety problems in adult dogs. There are also a variety of natural calming scents, including lavender, and other herbal remedies.

Music can certainly help calm us down and soothe our nerves. Therefore, it is not such a big stretch to imagine that it can also be helpful to our dogs. However, the wrong kind of music can actually increase anxiety in dogs.

Classical slowed them down. It just relaxed them in a way that the other music seemed to irritate them. Try Music! The Thundershirt looks like a dog winter coat. However, the only study I found was a very limited experiment, from an unsubstantiated source. Therefore, it is unclear whether the claims made on the effectiveness of Thundershirts are true. Note — Pressure wraps will not work on all dogs.Are you confused about putting your dog down? To learn about the different types of discomfort and pain, read through the comments section below.

There are other guidelines and signs that will help you know when to put your dog to sleep, but the bottom line is always quality of life. There will come a day when it is absolutely clear to you that your dog is not enjoying life. That day is one day too late.

If you can save your dog even one day of discomfort, you must. You have the big perspective…which makes it hard to know when to put your dog down. This is your final chance to take care of your pet. If you can spare your dog pain and suffering, then putting it to sleep is the ultimate gift — no matter how hard it is for you.

putting down an anxious dog

Euthanasia is similar to falling asleep, and you can be with your dog when he or she drifts away. Trying to figure out when to put your dog down is painful because dogs are almost closer to us than people. They always stay dependent on us and only grow old…which means they go back to being even more dependent on us! We care for our dogs from start to finish, and our relationship with them is intimate. We feed them, train them, exercise them, help them piddle and poo, take care of their health and medical issues, groom them, and cuddle with them.

What you loved deeply becomes a part of you. He had already previously torn the ligament on the other knee and although it was healed he had severe arthritis in that knee.

With both knees injured, Eddie was unable to walk. My decision to put my dog to sleep was finally made for me. I went to my office and collected the supplies I needed for euthanasia. Eddie was such a good boy as I shaved his front leg and placed the needle in his vein. I will never forget the look of love and trust he gave me as I made the injection. Then, the life just went out of him and he was gone. Once he had passed away, his buddy Joey my other dog came in the room but he did not seem to care about or comprehend what was happening.

Then, my two cats came in and I swear they suddenly had a look of glee in their eyes as Eddie was very much a cat tormentor! Dog owners feel a universal heartache when we have to decide when to put our dogs down.

Allow yourself to grieve, and know that you are not alone. You may be surprised at how difficult it is to let go of your dog. Your heart and home will never be the same. Kim grew up with animals as her constant companions. This led her on an incredible journey to uncover the truth. For instance, I talked to one dog owner who got a paw print tattoo after putting her dog to sleep, as a way to remember her pet. How do you feel about putting your dog to sleep? Your comments are welcome below.Having to say good-bye is something every dog lover faces eventually.

It would be nice if they could be with us for decades, but sadly this is not the case. In order to make it through the process of having your dog put to sleep, you need to begin preparing ahead of time. Here are the steps in the process. Those letters stand for hurt, hunger, hydration, hygiene, happiness, mobility, and more good days than bad.

Each factor is scored on a scale of 0 to This should be done separately by you and the veterinarian because it can be very easy to rate your pet higher on some points than a medical professional would. According to some experts, focusing on the good days versus bad is probably the most objective way a pet owner can make the decision. Discuss the decision with your vet to euthanize and be sure to ask any questions you have, even if they seem trivial.

Remember, you may have never gone through this before, but your vet has to frequently. The options are mostly the same as with humans — burial or cremation. Organ donation for research or transplantation is also becoming a much more common option, as are less traditional methods. Once the arrangements have been made, the final decision is the time and location of the procedure.

I Put My Dog Down Today

Finally, when you do schedule the procedure, ask your vet if you can make it the last appointment of the day — he or she will appreciate the gesture because neither one of you will feel like going back to work afterwards. A good vet will let you spend as long as you want alone with your dog both before and after the procedure.

One big question people have is whether they want to be there during the euthanasia. There are valid arguments for and against being presentalthough the most commonly reported negative of not being there is a sense of regret for having abandoned the dog in her final moments. There are various steps in the process of euthanasia, although nowadays almost all dogs are euthanized by injection. The short version, though, is that it is almost always a very peaceful process. The most important thing is to not immediately run out and rescue another dogespecially if you only had one.

Give yourself the time and tools to go through the grieving process. These will help with the grieving process by not being constant reminders, as well as allow you to start fresh if and when you adopt another dog. Everyone deals with grief in different ways, which you should keep in mind especially if there is more than one human in the household.

Some people may seem to get over it quickly, while others may become depressed for weeks or months. And remember that there are many pet loss support helplines available to call. Although saying good-bye is the hardest part of our relationships with our dogs, we can console ourselves by remembering that by rescuing that dog we gave it a chance at a happy life in the first place — and left us with many pleasant memories.It is sad to see our beloved animal companions get old and even harder to see them start to loss their mind.

In many dogs the first sign of this is anxiety in the evening or throughout the night, although dementia or cognitive dysfunction syndrome can manifest in many different ways.

Not all dementia has an anxiety component to it and not all anxiety in older dogs is from dementia but the two often go together. In Traditional Chinese medicine or TCManxiety in older animals is caused by too much heart fire related to the kidneys becoming deficient as your dog ages.

Kidneys are considered to be the water element and as we age the kidneys get deficient and water in the body system decreases to a point that it allows heart which is a fire element to flare too much and cause anxiety especially during the heart peak hours of 11pm — 1am.

According to TCM, another issue is that older animals can become what is called yin deficient. Yin holds the yang at night so we can sleep. Sometimes these problems are reversible if caught early but even when they are not, there are things you can do to help slow down the progression of the disease and help with symptoms.

Usually in spite of everything we do, dementia is progressive and eventually gets to the point that nothing helps anymore. This process can happen quickly or occur slowly over a number of years. Here is a list of some things that I have found can help your older dog with dementia or anxiety. Please check with your veterinarian to come up with a plan that is safe for your dog.

It is based around the ideas from Tellington TTouch of using an ace bandage.

putting down an anxious dog

See the article Put an ace bandage on my dog? You can use a snug fitting human T-shirt, a Thundershirtor an anxiety wrap. I have found however that if your dog has a lot of arthritic pain the anxiety wrap is too hard to put on, so try the Thundershirt or a T-shirt in that case.

This is also an idea that can work in young dogs with anxiety. Melatonin can help old dogs sleep at night. Sometimes older dogs can get confused between night and day and end up sleeping all day and then pacing and panting at night.

This can make it very hard for us humans to sleep also. I dose Melatonin at mg per 50lb of dog. Many brands of Melatonin contains xylitol which is highly toxic to dogs. Make sure your brand does not! Small meals more often and right before bed are sometimes better for these older dogs.

A small meal of wet or cooked food right before bedtime can help get these dogs through the night and help them sleep better. Acupuncture can help decrease anxiety especially at night time by treating the yin, kidneys, and heart fire. In addition acupuncture can help with arthritis pain, weakness, and kidney function and help your dog age more gracefully as they get older.

I often combine acupuncture with Chinese herbs for these dogs. Reiki can help to relax older dogs and calm anxiety. Reiki is a nice calming way of helping improve health and well being as animals age.

Other herbal medications are out there for helping with anxiety in older dogs. Making a tea or tincture from hops leaves can help calm some older dogs. Animal Apawthecary makes a Tranquility Tonic that if used at their recommended dosage is safe in most animals.

I also have a formula I make and sell in my store, Kingdom of Basil, which helps to treat anxiety in older dogs and also contains ginkgo to help with brain function called Calm and Peaceful Formula.

Also see my article Helping anxiety in an old friend — calm and peaceful formula. To use Chinese herbs correctly you should consult with a veterinarian with a background is Chinese herbal medicine or Traditional Chinese Medicine. Western Drugs are always an option. There are may drugs that help with anxiety and can be given if the natural alternatives do not work or are not enough.

There are also drugs out there that help with dementia such as Selegiline Anipryl. Most of the western drugs like the herbs are not cure alls but can help make things better.Most veterinary professionals will refrain from giving their personal opinion when it comes to putting your dog down. Why are vets so reluctant to give personal opinions when it comes to putting your dog to sleep?

You may wonder why vets — even a veterinarian who you have known for decades — relies on a quality of life scale when answering your questions about putting your dog to sleep. It's true that your vet can tell you what the tests say; they can tell you what they see. But those things are based on a singular moment in time. As senior dogs or dying dogs approach their final months or even yearsour pets experience good days and bad days, and only someone who experiences the sum total of those good and bad moments, and who has seen that same dog in healthier stages of their life, can form a complete picture of the animal's current well-being.

Each factor is rated on a scale and the seven numerical values are then added together to get a number between Numerical values are one part of the when to put down your dog checklist, but the vets' quality of life scale also considers seven additional factors alongside the numerical scale for a better assessment:. Is your dog currently in pain? If medication is not helping to relieve the dog's pain, how often would you gauge that your pet is in pain? Pain is the first and most important aspect of when to put down your dog checklist and life scale to consider, and the rest of assessment will come alongside this factor.

A score of 1 indicates that your dog is in pain most of the time and that pain cannot be relieved through medication or other medical intervention.

A score of 10 indicates that your dog is experiencing no pain at all or is experiencing minimal normal age-related pain. Is your dog currently eating regularly or are they refusing food? If they are slow to eat or are reluctant to eat, how much interest do they show in food or eating overall?

Appetite evaluation is an important part of when to put down your dog checklist and life scale. A score of 1 indicates that your dog is refusing to eat regularly and that you are noticing subtle signs of weight loss or signs of malnutrition.

A score of 5 indicates that your dog is eating a little slower than usual, often dividing one meal into multiple portions or simply not finishing a meal like they used to. It may also indicate that your dog is eating fairly well but is reluctant to eat a few times a week.

A score of 10 indicates that your dog is eating normally. Is your dog currently drinking normally or are they drinking more or less than usual? If their thirst has changed, is there a reasonable medical explanation for this change or is your dog simply not interested in drinking? A score of 1 indicates that your dog is refusing to drink and is showing signs of dehydration.

A score of 5 indicates that your dog is drinking water but that their usual drinking patterns have changed. A score of 10 indicates that your dog is drinking normally.

Are they currently maintaining regular grooming habits? Do they experience periodic loss of control of their bladder or bowel? If they do experience bladder or bowel control loss, are they mobile or do they spend periods of time sitting or lying in their own feces? Is your dog completely immobile and incontinent? If your Fido is unable to groom themselves properly, they may require assistance in their daily grooming habits.

If, however, your dog is unable to stand or walk, they may experience pressure sores that can lead to serious infection. If your dog is incontinent and unable to stand or walk, they are also at risk for urine burn or fecal contamination of pressure sores. A score of 1 indicates that your pooch may spend a lot of time laying in their own waste or they may be unable to urinate or defecate without assistance from you. They may have pressure sores that frequently cause infection, or they may have a fast-growing and inoperable tumor or mass that is causing tissue necrosis or infection.

A score of 5 indicates that your dog may have trouble with elimination, may have periodic incontinenceor may have difficulty with mobility but still be able to move around on their own regularly. A score of 10 indicates that your dog is grooming, urinating, defecating, and moving around normally. Is your dog happy?


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