There comes a time in every pet owner’s life where their furry friend’s time runs out – it’s the inevitable that we try so hard to avoid. This sad time can often come very suddenly and leave the owner in a state of shock and not knowing what to do or how to grieve. However, for some, they have to make the awful decision to euthanize their pet as their quality of life deteriorates.
Over the years, a pet can become a massive part of the family, making it exceptionally hard to say goodbye to them. In order to lessen the impact of your pet’s death, it is important to be prepared and know what you will be dealing with.
Some people deal with this awful time in many different ways. It is up to you as an individual to prepare and grieve in your own way. When the loss of a pet is unexpected the waves of emotion can sometimes be too much for the owner. To overcome this sadness you can surround yourself with loved ones and talk about the best parts of your pets life, what you enjoyed most about them and how they helped brighten your life. This is one of the easiest ways to bring a little bit of joy out of a terrible situation and celebrate the life of your pet.
For many owners, their pet will live for as long as possible before old age sets in and they begin to lose their quality of life. It is at this time where we have to make that gut-wrenching decision to euthanize them. Making the decision to put your pet to sleep can never be made in haste, and can be emotionally draining on the owner. In saying this, doing what’s best for your pet is what should be at the forefront. Putting them down may sound harsh, however, it is a lot better than seeing your pet suffer.
In making this decision you will have to evaluate whether or not they are still enjoying their life without suffering too much. If you decide that putting them to sleep is in their best interests, you still have time to enjoy their last days with them before the procedure. In this time you may want to overindulge them in their favourite activities, food, toys and friends. This will not only make their final days some of the happiest, it will also allow you to know that you gave them the best send-off you possibly could.
On the day of the procedure, try your hardest to stay calm as pets can often sense how you feel and will reflect this in their behaviour. Giving off a positive energy can keep your pet calm and happy. The option of being with your pet during the euthanizing or saying goodbye to them at the door is one that you will have to make – which can be a very overwhelming experience. Although watching your pet being put to sleep may be one of the hardest things to do as an owner, it may be what is best for your four-legged friend. Many vets will tell you that during the operation the pet will look around for their owner in their final minutes, and by you being there for them you can calm them down and reassure your pet.
There are a number of ways to honour your pet after their passing. Burial and cremation are by far the most common. Having your pet cremated gives you the option of keeping their ashes in an urn so they will always be with you or you can spread their ashes in one of your pet’s favourite places.
It is important to remember that everyone will deal with the loss of their pet differently and there is no right way to grieve. Do something that makes you feel better whilst being able to remember your beloved friend.