Pet owners commonly feel guilt after saying goodbye to their beloved furry friends through euthanasia. Understanding why you feel guilty for putting your dog to sleep can help you recover and move forward to honor your dog’s memory.
Why Do I Feel Guilty for Putting My Dog to Sleep?
You may feel guilt for putting your dog to sleep because you think you’ve harmed your dog. Guilt may stem from the realization of losing your pet and anger for your decision. Despite that, you would feel these negative emotions only because your actions come from love and care.
It’s crucial to know that these feelings are natural and valid. It can be painful and puzzling to come to terms with the situation. Acknowledging and doing something about your feelings can help bring you peace and comfort.
Reasons Why You Feel Guilty for Euthanizing Your Pet Dog
Even though you’ve chosen the most compassionate and gentle procedure of in-home pet euthanasia, you may still be likely to feel guilt over your decision. It can sometimes be confusing, yet knowing where your emotions come from can aid your grieving and healing process.
You Feel Selfish
It would be more selfish to let your pet continue suffering, especially if their quality of life is poor and there are more bad days than good ones. Considering in-home pet euthanasia gives your pet a dignified end of life.
Particularly for fatal diseases or untreatable injuries, your goal as an owner is to give your dog the best final days of its life.
You may also think you decided solely for yourself and must consider others. For example, you’ll need to help your children through pet loss.
You Think Your Dog Is Upset with You
This is a natural emotion for humans, especially if you’re on the receiving end of an unfortunate action. However, there’s no definite way to know your dog’s feelings during the procedure.
You may think that your dog is upset with you for choosing in-home pet euthanasia. However, your pet is more likely to feel the pain of their sickness or injury.
Some dogs may feel sadness and confusion during a strange situation. Remember that your pet loves you unconditionally, and you should feel thankful for the time you spent together.
Your Moral Code is Bothering You
Guilt comes together with remorse or sadness over an action that may have breached your moral code. It could be due to your religion or personal beliefs.
For example, most religions don’t mention anything specifically about pet euthanasia. However, they have teachings about caring for life and creations, including animals. As you grow up, this may have influenced how you view life.
Despite that, know that it’s also your moral obligation to find the best way to end the pain of your dog. While certain situations may require you to make a tough decision, euthanizing your dog can end your pet’s unnecessary suffering.
You Think You Should Have Done More
Guilt is one of the brain’s defense mechanisms against the feeling of the full weight of sorrow and grief over something, like pet loss.
You may think you’re selfish and should have done more. Ultimately, you cannot change the past. Dwelling on these questions can harbor prolonged guilt.
- What if I did things differently?
- What if I held on longer?
- What if I made the wrong call?
You’re Punishing Yourself for Your Decision
Caregiver burden not only applies to humans, it can also refer to those caring for sick, injured or aging animals. It may revolve around a range of negative implications, including time constraints, financial burden, and feelings of guilt over the situation.
Managing the care of ailing pets is a challenging phase. There will be regular lifting, cleaning, and vet check-ups. Each of these can consume time, effort, and resources.
You may punish yourself for giving up and thinking euthanasia is more of a way out for you than your dog.
You Love Your Pet
It’s hard to let go of someone you love. Guilt is a sign of how much you care for your dog.
Guilt is often associated with connection. You wouldn’t have these feelings if you had no loving connection towards your pet. You ended a companionship you’ve built for a long time, and it’s never easy.
Ways to Overcome Guilt for Putting Down Your Dog
When guilt becomes overwhelming, it can be harder to accept your decision to euthanize your dog. These are some of the ways to cope with guilt.
- Talk to a professional: Verbalizing your guilt and other emotions can help you eliminate the feeling and find solutions. You may either join a support group or join grief counseling with the expert guidance of our grief support specialists.
- Cremate and bury your pet: Cremation allows you to receive the ashes of your pet and use them for display in an Urn or scatter them at a location of your choice.
- Prepare memorial items: Your dog’s clothes or toys will remind you of your time together. Memorial items provide a more personalized touch, as you can include your pet’s ashes or paw prints.
Do Pets Suffer When They Are Put to Sleep?
No, pets don’t suffer when they’re put to sleep by compassionate veterinarians and professional veterinary teams. Some pet owners think their pets will suffer from euthanasia, and this feeling may contribute to or lead to guilt. Keep in mind that euthanasia is a painless end-of-life procedure for animals.
Did I Put My Dog to Sleep Too Soon?
It’s unlikely that you’ve put your dog to sleep too soon. If your dog is suffering from an injury, illness, or age, euthanasia is much more humane than continued suffering. A veterinary professional will be able to determine the amount of pain your dog is in. You can also determine your pet’s quality of life using this assessment to help you make the right decision.
It’s normal to feel guilty for putting your dog to sleep because it’s not an easy decision to make. This moment can be confusing, scary, and heartbreaking for your pet and yourself. To help you lessen the pain, we can help you prepare for pet euthanasia at home.