Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Would you stay in the room with your pet when they're being put to sleep?

Asked by Dutchess_III (45309points) January 15th, 2022

From the David Attenboro Fan page on FB.

“Pets, it turns out, also have last wishes before they die, but only known by veterinarians who put old and sick animals to sleep. Twitter user Jesse Dietrich asked a vet what was the most difficult part of his job.

The specialist answered without hesitation that it was the hardest for him to see how old or sick animals look for their owners with the eyes of their owners before going to sleep. The fact is that 90 % of owners don’t want to be in a room with a dying animal. People leave so that they don’t see their pet leave. But they don’t realize that it’s in these last moments of life that their pet needs them most.

Veterinarians ask the owners to be close to the animals until the very end. ′′It’s inevitable that they die before you. Don’t forget that you were the center of their life. Maybe they were just a part of you. But they are also your family. No matter how hard it is, don’t leave them.

Dont let them die in a room with a stranger in a place they dont like. It is very painful for veterinarians to see how pets cannot find their owner during the last minutes of their life. They dont understand why the owner left them. After all, they needed their owner’s consolation.

Veterinarians do everything possible to ensure that animals are not so scared, but they are completely strangers to them. Don’t be a coward because it’s too painful for you. Think about the pet. Endure this pain for the sake of their sake. Be with them until the end.”

- Tricia Mo’orea

Photo credit: Travis Patenaude.

I have had to put down 3 dogs in my life. I stayed with them, petting them, and talking to then, until the end.

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32 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

Every time if at all possible. Anything that will comfort them, and frankly, it is a small comfort to me as well, to be there at the end.

filmfann's avatar

I had to put 2 down within months of each other. It was a bit traumatic for me.
I loved having dogs, but I have avoided getting another because of it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It is a very sad day @filmfann. Only time I’ve seen Rick cry.

When I put my Snuffy down then nurse suggested I leave. I said “No.”
I heard her tell the vet, in a disbelieving voice, that I wanted to stay with my dog, like I was crazy or something.

chyna's avatar

Yes I have. They need me as much as I need them to be comforted.

gorillapaws's avatar

I’ve only had to do this twice and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I expect to have vivid memories of those moments until the day I die. I have no regrets and would do it again. Make no mistake though, it’s emotionally agonizing.

product's avatar

I did this once with my dog. It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever done. I cried harder than I ever had throughout it, and often start leaking from my eyes when I even think about it. However, I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

canidmajor's avatar

I have often had bunches of pets at a time, so I have had to do this many times. It never gets easier (and it shouldn’t) but it gets easier to learn the signs that it has to happen. I have had them go quietly, wagging gently, and resist and fight. And as hard as it is, knowing how painful it is, it is still harder for me to be without pets in my life.

janbb's avatar

Oh, I can’t imagine not being there. When we had to put Prince to sleep, they took us into a room and said take all the time you want . And then the vet came in and talked to us about what he was doing. It was actually a relief to be there and see how painless the dying process was for Prince. The harder part was being home and not seeing him in all his usual haunts.

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

Tough call, and I’m glad I’ve never been in that predicament. But yeah, I probably would. Just sit there and pet it and try to comfort it the best I could. My pets have all passed naturally. But I wouldn’t hold it against someone who felt they wouldn’t be able to deal with it. We all have our own ways of dealing with grieving.

SnipSnip's avatar

I never had that chance but I would have. My daughter held her little dog while it died.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I thought that claim that 90% wouldn’t was wrong.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. Been there, done that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Being there is a privelage and closure. I wish every dog was able to go so loved and in peace.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m crying.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I almost didn’t answer this at all because I can’t bear to think about my lost babies. I’m sorry you’re sad. I hope you and your dog are ok.

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

And I will second that. I hope that this is just a rhetorical Q.

smudges's avatar

Absolutely. I’ll always be there. I figure they’ve loved me and depended on me and shared their life with me – the least I can do is try to comfort them when they have to leave. I put my hand on their head and thank them for making my life better.

Here’s a poem that my vet sent me; many of you probably recognize it:

Grieve not,
nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me
as if I were beside you -

I loved you so -
‘twas Heaven here with you.

~Isla Paschal Richardson

(excerpt from “To Those I Love”)

You ok @Dutchess_III?

Jeruba's avatar

Yes. I’ve held them while their eyes went dim. For them and also for me, I had to hold them close while they passed.

Zaku's avatar

Yes. With one cat, the vet said they couldn’t believe the cat stayed alive so long waiting for his humans to show up.

anniereborn's avatar

I couldn’t even tell you the number I have been with for this. My mom always had a million pets and I would go with her. I have been there with five of my own. Always always heartbreaking. I cannot imagine having it any other way. I have always asked for sedation before the final shot. I have never seen agitation in any of them with that. I always hold them afterwards for a long time. They say the hearing is the last to go. I don’t want them to hear me leave and then silence.

flutherother's avatar

I’ve never had to put a pet down but I couldn’t bear not to be present in its final moments.

kruger_d's avatar

When I was informed my cat should be put down, they asked me to come back a couple hours later when they they had staff available for the procedure. When I returned they had already done it. I was so upset and later angry.

JLoon's avatar

I’ve chosen never to have pets, partly for just this reason – So hard to watch them age, suffer, and die.

But if I ever did, I think I’d do what I could to make them feel loved at the end.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@All… Cato and Vanta are fine. I just came across the article in the details and just didn’t belive that 90% of people wouldn’t stay in the room. So I took a Fluther poll.

chyna's avatar

^Very good to know.

smudges's avatar

@Dutchess_III Whewww! I was worried.

I don’t believe it’s 90% either; probably more like 40–60%. Plus, the fact that someone would take their pet to a vet tells me that the %-age must be lower. People who don’t care about their pets simply discard them or take them to the Humane Society when they get old or sick. I dunno, I’m tired, don’t know if I expressed what I meant to or not.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I also don’t believe the 90% number.

I went through this once, with a twelve year old cat. I could not imagine letting her die with strangers. 20+ years later I don’t think a week goes without me thinking about her. She was a good girl and I loved her profoundly.

jca2's avatar

I don’t believe that number either. I think there must be some confusion and it’s referring to animals put to sleep in shelters, maybe.

smudges's avatar

Good article.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes it w was. Thanks @jca2

RocketGuy's avatar

I stayed with my previous dog until he was unconscious. He was panting as though something bad was going to happen. I kept my hand on him to reassure him that everything was going to be OK.

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